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City to plant 400 trees at Lakeview Cemetery

Other green spaces, such as DeCew House Heritage Park and Mel Swart Conservation Area, were deemed not suitable for the NPCA's tree donation

Lakeview Cemetery is about to look a whole lot greener, as the city is getting ready to plant over 400 trees, donated by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

Last week, Councillor Tim O’Hare brought the donation forward to city council, but there were lots of questions surrounding the logistics of the project.

City Hall staff worked hard in the past week to put together a detailed report that outlines how the project will be realized at Lakeview Cemetery.

While staff considered planting the trees in DeCew House Heritage Park or Mel Swart Conservation area, "both of these locations are currently being studied or have work in progress (new sidewalk and future trail extension at DeCew House) that will require a more strategic planting plan."

The trees are to be planted in the northern part of Lakeview Cemetery, which will effectively create a natural barrier between the cemetery and Walker Industries.

“NPCA have sourced the material from Sassafras Farms and have developed a plant list that will be an attractive and sustainable feature of the cemetery for years to come,” reads the report.

On the morning of September 27, Niagara College students will plant the bulk of the 400 trees, and on October 28 the city is organizing a community volunteer event, to plant the remaining trees. 

But during Tuesday’s special city council meeting, Councillor Anthony Longo voiced concerns about the exact planting locations.

“If we plant a number of trees and future generations need it for burial plots are we now going to have to cut down mature trees,” he asked. “I hope there is some thought given to the placement of these trees when all the volunteers are there.”

Councillor Carmen DeRose also asked City Hall staff to make sure that the tree roots won't disturb any grave sites.

“Part of the community event will be an education process,” answered public works director Geoff Holman. “[The NPCA] will have staff available to provide any kind of information about the planting of trees and spacing of trees so that they’re sustainable.”

Councillors commended City Hall for finalizing the project on such short notice.

“I’m glad that it’s getting done,” said Councillor Nella Dekker. “Free trees, volunteers, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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