Earth Day Takes Root in Innisfail, Alberta

JMers in Innisfail, Alberta, went out a limb for Earth Day this year.

“We approached the two schools in Innisfail to see if there was any interest in a tree planting to learn about Earth Day,” said Dennis Fehr, Environmental Manager.

About 25 students from Innisfail Middle School and another 25 from St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School participated in the event. Earth Day was April 22, but the tree planting was held in May after the ground softened.

“The day started out with JM providing the kids with lunch,” Dennis said.

Lori Holt, Office Administrator; Brad Rankin, Training and Lean Coordinator; Adam Neale, Environmental Coordinator; Jean Francois Doyon, Plant Manager; and Dennis did most of the heavy lifting.

“The menu was hotdogs, potato chips and a drink,” Dennis said. “The learning portion started immediately after lunch with Town of Innisfail horticulturist Braden Wilson giving a tutorial on how to plant trees/shrubs, as well as a talk about what a horticulturist is and how to become one.”

The students then started planting. In all, 73 trees and shrubs provided by JM were planted:

  • 5 each of Saskatoon and Red Osier Dogwood
  • 10 each of Manitoba Maple, Amur Maple, Pin Cherry, Choke Cherry and Beaked Hazelnut
  • 13 Green Ash

“The kids dug holes for the trees and shrubs with shovels supplied by JM and the Town of Innisfail,” Dennis said.

Four workers from the Town of Innisfail helped on the project.

The town also provided mulch, fertilizer and water.

“It was kind of like herding cats but most seemed to really enjoy it,” Dennis said. “Overall, the day was a great success with a positive environmental message sent from JM.”