Families in Chestermere will have the opportunity to celebrate their children through the annual Birth Forest Planting Event on Sept. 25 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
“Families just show up, and we will have everything ready,” said Chestermere’s Lead Hand of the Parks Department Alison Ciupa.
Before families start planting their tree, there will be a small introduction from the Streetscape Committee on the Birth Forest’s history and why trees are important for the environment.
Families then choose a tree and collect a small tag that is engraved with their child’s name.
When families have finished planting their tree, they are encouraged to have coffee, hot chocolate, juice, and cookies.
“It provides a connection with the community. Families will have an opportunity to meet other families with children the same age,” Ciupa said.
“The Birth Forest is something that when a child grows up, they can go visit and appreciate that their parents put in the effort,” she said.
Adding, “Families don’t need to have a child who was born in 2019 to be able to plant a tree, older siblings can also plant trees.”
Although the essence of the Birth Forest Planting Event doesn’t change, the type of tree’s available to plant changes year to year.
“We try to stick with smaller trees so that we have room to fit everything in and they won’t be crowded when they mature,” Ciupa added. “We will be putting in a number of flowering trees.”
The Chestermere Parks Department works for multiple days to ensure the planting site is prepared for the Birth Forest Planting Event by marking the area, digging out the top layer of sod, adding lake weed compost, digging the tree hole’s, transporting the trees to the site, and providing the tools families need to plant their tree’s.
“From the Park’s Department perspective, it adds to the beauty of the city by introducing more trees. That canal spot, in particular, we would like to see eventually more park-like looking rather than grass along the pathway,” Ciupa said.
She added, “As the Parks Department, we enjoy prepping the site and getting things ready, and adding more trees.”
In order to plant a tree, families have to fill out an online application on the City’s website at https://www.chestermere.ca/198/Birth-Forest, before Sept. 14.
A $40 registration fee is required and must be paid in-person at City Hall, or at the Public Works site with exact change.