I am a board member of our local Child Care Centre, TLC Child Care Centre Inc. in Carman, Manitoba, and like all Child Care Centres, we try and access as many grants and programs as possible. I came across the Tree Canada Greening Canada’s School Grounds program through an email that was sent to me at work, completely unrelated to my work as I manage a lending department for commercial loans!
After a quick read I emailed Ken Fosty, and he was very prompt at replying to my inquiry and gave me excellent information on how to complete the application form. With the application we needed a detailed map of the Centre’s yard along with where and how many trees were to be planted.
I went to our local Nursery, Aubin Nurseries, and they were very helpful in creating a site plan for us. They were very helpful because I wouldn’t have thought of many considerations to take into account when choosing what kind of trees to plant. They helped me pick out shrubs that don’t have large flowers and bloom early in the season so as not to attract too many bees, and they suggested the trees not have ornamental bearing fruit so the kid’s don’t try and eat them. All these suggestions were very much appreciated. The children wanted some apple trees so that they could use the apples in their baking they do during the summer and fall at the Centre.
Once the application was sent in we received notification quickly that we were approved for $1,600.00. The application ended up being the easy part! Now we had to plant 120 shrubs and 8 trees! We organized a plant-a-thon and had staff, 5 board members, 4 parents, and 7 children come out to help plant. Ken Fosty came out to help as well for the first night of planting. Our deputy mayor attended to thank the Child Care Centre and Tree Canada for helping to beautify the Centre and teach the children the value of trees. Ken Fosty also brought with him evergreen saplings for the volunteers to take with them. We had a local fertilizer company donate the fertilizer that we put in the holes to help the shrubs and trees get a good start.
After the planting was done the Centre made a watering “chore chart” and the kids helped to water the plants until the weather turned colder. We emphasized to the local media and Centre staff that the trees and shrubs not only provided protection against noise and dust from adjacent roads but also an educational component.
Trees are living and breathing and offer much to our environmental health. We will use the trees to teach the children environmental stewardship as well as the good things trees provide us to eat.
We are very grateful to Tree Canada and all the staff that managed our application from start to finish. They were all very knowledgeable and friendly and answered all the questions we had along the way. Thanks to Tree Canada and FedEx for your generous gift to our children.
Click here for more information on Tree Canada’s Greening Canada’s School Grounds program (applications accepted year-round)
Board Member & Treasurer, TLC Child Care Centre Inc.