As seen in The Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette.

On Tuesday, May 31st, several volunteers with Let’s Tree Wilmot (LTW) gathered to install the first 6 of the 25 signs that will mark the tree planting at Scott Park in New Hamburg. The area was the first LTW tree planting location in October 2020.

This is a pilot project that will be monitored to help determine replicating the signs for other plantings across the township. Besides the large sign pictured, 24 smaller signs will label an example of each native tree or shrub planted.

Volunteers from across Wilmot Township were involved in creating the signs, which provide education on native tree species and raise the importance of planting them in public and on private property. Promotion of the work of LTW and appreciation to the volunteers who have planted the trees are other purposes of the signs.

The initiative came to LTW volunteer Marie Pavey, of Baden, when she saw similar signs while out for a hike in Goderich. Pavey brought the idea to the Education Committee and then to Wilmot Township staff, including Manny Jones (now O’Krafka), Manager of Community Services, who all embraced the project.

With this endorsement, Pavey, who has no skills with woodworking, looked to the community to source the signs. Her first contact was with her Baden neighbour and member of the Wilmot Seniors’ woodworking and Craft Center, Larry Livingston. Having worked in the past with Larry and the Center on the Learning Grounds project at Baden PS, she was hopeful this connection might work out again.

The woodworkers were keen to provide the wood and create the signs, but the routing of the letters and wood-burning would need to be done elsewhere. Winston Burrill of New Dundee created the signs and stakes and provided staining to increase the durability of the stakes.

Responding to a posting on ‘Wilmot Stronger Together’ Facebook page, Bill Young of New Hamburg readily offered his expertise to engrave the lettering on the signs with his CNC router. After another request on Facebook, J Demerling, who lives in Baden and formerly lived in Petersburg, eagerly came forward to complete the signs with wood-burning to highlight the lettering. Matt Demerling, J’s dad, is owner of Demtool in Petersburg and was able to find someone he works with to laser engrave a QR code onto the sign that will link to a webpage with information about all of the trees and shrubs. This intricate work was done by Victoria Bugdal and Randy Letkeman of Pixelwood Creative based in Kitchener.

“It was encouraging to see how readily each volunteer was to work together to create these signs,” noted Pavey, “It is exciting to see such a professional finished product and to install these signs!”

Let’s Tree Wilmot, a project of Wilmot Horticultural Society, is thrilled with the signs and thanks all of the volunteers, from ‘villages’ throughout Wilmot township, who provided their skills along the way! LTW welcomes new volunteers; check the project’s website at wilmothortsociety.ca/ltw or letstreewilmot.ca

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