Heritage Committee considering Significant Tree Project
by Sandy Lindsay

February 16, 2016


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When it comes to heritage and history, Saugeen Shores Municipal Heritage Committee members are passionate.

While their main focus has been on heritage homes and buildings in general, the Committee recently looked at a project brought forward by member Bill Streeter ... historical and significant trees.  Streeter researched what other communities and counties have been doing and brought his findings to the Committee.

Artist Stephen Hogbin initiated a project in Grey Bruce counties where people have been asked to submit personal preferences or trees that appear to be extraordinary.

In 2016, a grand prize winner will be selected and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery will be hosting the Extraordinary Tree II exhibit.

Mississauga also carried out a Significant Tree Program as one of many municipalities throughout North America that have begun to recognize the cultural and historical significance of trees.  Some trees are recognized as rare species, rare in size and/or form and some are even associated with an historical figure or event.

"With all the incredible trees we have in Bruce County and the decimation that the Emerald Ashe Borer is causing," said Streeter, "I thought that we could undertake a similar project to preserve the memories of significant trees.  They could be trees that people have planted in memory of a loved one, or simply a tree that is unusual or with an historical story, but there would have to be a list of criteria."

"When it comes to the trees, I think we'll have to have an arborist or someone involved who has a broad knowledge of trees ," added Streeter.

Committee Member Audrey Underwood also raised the idea of having school students become involved.  "Children don't seem to learn about outdoor vegetation anymore and I think this would be a good project to have them involved."

Staff member Tracey Edwards also said that groups such as Scouting and Rotary could also be brought in.  Edwards said that she would contact Mississauga about their project to find out more details.

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Flowering Crab in Port Elgin  

photo by Sandy Lindsay

"The whole idea is celebrating trees," said Committee Chair Diane Huber.

Streeter also suggested that students be involved in coming up with a logo for the project.

The initiative will be explored further and brought back to the Committee.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016