Friday, September 25, 2015

Sunshine and smiles at walking path tree dedication

^ John Hancock, Farley Wuth, Heidi Eijgel, Noreen Robbins, BJ Scott, Diane Burt-Stuckey, Pauline Warren, Bev Everts

Toni Lucas

On Thursday afternoon, September 24 approximately a dozen people attended a dedication of the grove of cottonwood trees on the walking path beside Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) at the corner of the bridge on Bev McLachlin Drive.  The event was in part a celebration of National Tree day.

1898 photo of area that is now part of Pincher Creek's walking path (courtesy KBPV)
Local Lorax Pauline Warren was a featured speaker at the event.  "Living on the prairie, I appreciate what a tree is all about," said Warren.  "Every tree helps our ecology because it cleans the air, and what we are striving for is clean air, clean water."  One weekend an untold number of years ago Warren and her husband Keith dug up 125 trees that were not wanted at various agricultural sites and replanted them in areas where they would be allowed to thrive.

KBPV Curator Farley Wuth showed a photo taken in February 1898 of the original bridge on the site of the dedication, with trees in the background but far fewer of them than we see there today. Alberta Parks Visitor Services Specialist Heidi Eijgel spoke of the reverence First Nations People have for trees and the special relationship pioneer people had with trees.  Town of Pincher Creek Parks and Recreation Director Diane Burt-Stuckey said this was the third dedication for National Tree Day in Pincher Creek.  The trees in front of the Library and the large tree in front of Town Hall have both been the subjects of dedication services.  The initiative was spearheaded in Pincher Creek by the local Communities in Bloom chapter.

The dedication ceremony reminded Warren of the words of her favorite poem, 'Trees' by Joyce Kilmer, which a surprising number of the attendees helped her recite from memory.

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

National Tree Day in Canada was on September 23.

Related story:
Communities in Bloom hosts NWMP Tree Dedication at Library grounds

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