Spring tree sale underway to support Brockville conservation area

TINCAP, ONT. A tree sale benefiting the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area began Saturday in Tincap with dozens of native species to spice up your yard.

Chair Judy Saunders, hosted by Friends of Mac Johnson group, said people were lined up before 9 a.m. to get a tree.

“The response has been excellent,” said Saunders. “The people are incredibly patient. We’ve sold about 15 memberships to the friends and it’s going great.”

The tree sales usually took place around Mother’s Day but were delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. Organizers expanded it to six days this year to help with COVID-19 logs.

The Friends of Mac Johnson will also celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2021. All income from the sale of trees flows directly into the nature reserve and helps two ongoing projects.

“One is to rebuild a native wildflower garden that will attract birds, bees and butterflies,” Saunders said. “And we’re going to add around three lookout points around our back pond along the paths so people can get a better view of the pond and the gorgeous Trumpeter Swans that call it home.

“One of the areas we’re trying to resolve is our boardwalk because we have beautiful beavers there who love to call the boardwalk home too,” added Saunders.

Tree nursery volunteer and Friends member Stefan Foerster said there are many native species to choose from.

“We all focus on native tree and shrub species, so there’s a long list,” said Foerster. “Everything from four different types of maple, we have oak, shrubbery, nannyberry, service tree, red wicker-dogwood, the list goes on.

Planting native species has its advantages.

“It’s very important because non-native species occupy the habitat that native species would normally occupy,” Foerster said. “For example, the Norway maple or the king maple are beautiful looking trees, but they don’t support the environment or the ecosystem like native species.

“A lot of the people here today are from the city, so they have their back yard and want to plant a tree or two, a berry bush, to support the wildlife and wildlife habitat.”

Trees averaged around $ 30.

Families who came out on Saturday looked forward to coming home and planting their new green.

“I love it because it’s native trees,” said the Prescott Noel family. “It’s a great thing to have in our garden and we have a nice big lawn right now and it’s nice to plant and watch them grow up. They grow up pretty big with the kids.”

Michael Dingman bought a wheelbarrow load of new trees, including a couple of staghorn sumac and two white birch trees.

“Thank god there was someone here to give me advice because I wouldn’t know,” Dingman said, laughing at advice like planting new trees at night rather than during the heat of the day.

“I’ve heard that this is a good place to come because they have people here who can help you at good prices and they can recommend the right plants for you.”

Friends of Mac Johnson memberships also sold for $ 25.

Tree sales“Today we offer a 10 percent discount on the purchase of trees and a free vegetable or a beautiful wildflower plant. Otherwise, membership here allows you to volunteer to help out with a variety of activities, ”Saunders said. “This also includes the tree nursery, which is very popular at our events. We always need people to help us with the canteen, with the children’s activities, with the maintenance of paths and other construction work. “

“I think, on the whole, it might just be a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps,” added Förster. “And from our humble start here, hopefully we can build something bigger and people will focus on native species again.”

The sale runs every Wednesday and Saturday until June 9th.

You can find more information on the nature reserve’s website.

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