To enhance their 1991 Markham planting site, 10,000 Trees is making a return.

The all-volunteer non-profit charitable organization is dedicated to restoring natural wildlife habitat through the planting of native trees, flowers and shrubs. The organization began planning for its first conservation effort in the Rouge River watershed in 1989.

As one of Canada’s largest public tree‐planting events, it attracts more than 2,000 volunteers annually. This year’s event will take place on April 22.

The planting site is located in Markham, near Waldon Pond, east of Kennedy Rd., on the south side of Austin Drive (west of Markville Mall). The site is adjacent to the, now mature, 1991 planting site.

Throughout 29 years volunteers have assisted the organization in restoring habitat in approximately 200 acres of fragile land in the Rouge watershed. Again, this year, the planting will include indigenous
wildflowers such as cardinal flower, two large groves of sugar maples and other varieties of trees such as black walnut as well as shrubs such as elderberry. Besides providing wildlife habitat, these plantings will eventually attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds, to help re-establish and perpetuate our natural environment.

This year, an educational component is being added to the planting. Volunteers will be able to drop by the education tent for games, giveaways and to learn about various tree and shrub species that are being planted on site and how they contribute to the ecology and biodiversity of the area.

There is no parking onsite. Volunteers can park at the Unionville GO Station, located at 7970 Kennedy Road, and ride a shuttle bus to and from the site continuously from 8:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m.

All volunteers should bring waterproof boots, gloves, a garden spade or shovel and a refillable water bottle or mug to take advantage of free Starbucks coffee or water from the City of Markham WOW “Water on Wheels” trailer.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with a smudging ritual performed by Elder Garry Sault of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations. Later, at approximately 11:00 a.m., dignitaries will participate in a ceremonial tree planting.

“Our annual event gets better and better every year,” says Robert Roszell, 10,000 Trees chairman. “Our entire organizing team enjoys planning for this wonderful event, but the most fulfilling feeling happens when we see how many people from the community come out. A one‐weekend effort each year will benefit wildlife and future generations for many years to come.”

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