The Brant Tree Coalition, a committee of the Brant Waterways Foundation, is a group that relies on the goodwill of its membership and the community to undertake naturalization projects through community involvement.
The Brant Tree Coalition (BTC) consists of membership from Industry, the County of Brant, the City of Branford, the Grand River Conservation Authority, Service Organizations and volunteer members of the public. To date, the BTC has helped orchestrate the planting of over 122,900 native trees and shrubs in the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.
2023 was a good year for tree planting. Although our area experienced a significant lack of rain in May, the abundance of rain in April and consistently throughout the summer months provided ideal growing conditions for the newly planted trees. Over 4,700 trees and shrubs were planted at various community events.
On Thursday April 20th, the 14th Annual Brant Tree Coalition High School event took place at the New Forest in the City. The project was actually a replant of the area wiped out by the record drought of 2016. The tree/ shrub total was 2048. Weather conditions were cool and windy.
The 8th Annual Brant County Community Tree Plant took place on Saturday April 22nd, Earth Day, in a day-long strong downpour at Burford Lions Park. Despite the weather, 600 native trees and shrubs were planted by a motivated group of community members. The Burford Lions Club donated hot drinks and hot dogs for the occasion. Members of the Brant Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee assisted with the event.
The following day, Sunday April 23rd, the 10th Annual Brantford Community Tree Plant was held at the GRCA’ Brant Park Conservation Area. Over 400 members of the community attended. Volunteer students from North Park Collegiate did a great job helping coordinate the event. Participants successfully planted 1080 native trees and shrubs.
Two groups revisited Savannah Oaks Pond on Saturday, May 6th. Savannah Oaks Pond is home to fish, turtles, nesting birds and numerous insects. It is an oasis of natural environment. The project entailed the planting of primarily conifers to provide a barrier between highway #403 and the pond area. In the morning, the Rotary Club members and their families planted and in the afternoon employees from Ferrero Rocher and their families took part in the restoration project. 385 trees were put in the ground.
Since the tree planting, we are thrilled that the property has been turned over to the Brant Land Trust to preserve it for future generations.
In the fall of 2024, two events were held.
On Sunday Sept. 24th, the annual TD Tree Days event was held involving TD employees, their families and friends and community members. The tree planting took place at the New Forest in the City. A slightly less that on acre isolated plot of land was planted with 400 native trees and shrubs. The area was planted with primarily conifers.
The final event of the year took place on Saturday, Nov. 4th at Holmdale Park. The event was really quite unique. In cooperation with the Holmdale Neighbourhood Association, the BTC undertook the planting of its first “Mini – Forest. Based on the principals of Akira Miyawaki, a noted Japanese biologist. This type of project involves planting a wide variety of species in a small area. The trees and shrubs (200) are planted closer together than in a typical tree plant. The goal is to plant three trees/shrubs per square metre. In theory, the competition for sunlight causes the trees to put their energy into vertical growth. The project will be monitored closely.
Tours of the New Forest in the City
In addition to the tree planting events, we were delighted to welcome two groups to the New Forest for tours.
On Thursday, Sept. 28th, we welcomed the Brantford Collegiate Institute STEAM Club to the New Forest. Site. The group helped plant 40 trees and participated in some bird box cleaning.
As part of the 35th anniversary of the Brant Waterways Foundation, on Oct.21st a tour was provided to interested community members.
The Brant Tree Coalition is looking forward to 2024! Stay up-to-date by checking the News and Events section for volunteer opportunities!