Arbor Week Experiences 2023

Tree coaches and volunteers for the Sutherland School Planting

Arbor Week 2023 focused on the amazing power of trees and nature to enhance healing mental, social and physical health. We also consider growing trees for feeding people as well as mitigating climate to cool our city, which is an important part of keeping us healthy and ensuring we have a sustainable environment for the future. Our theme "Healthy Trees, Healthy People" gave citizens of Saskatoon many great events to explore all week.

SOS Trees Coalition Arbor Week 2023 was a success. This year Arbor Week stretched out to 17 days and was at 23 locations throughout Saskatoon and Martensville. The people who participated ranged in age from Pre-K to seniors, from recent arrivals to seniors in long term care facilities, people with visual impairments, people from multiple cultural backgrounds, people with a long history with trees and people who had little tree knowledge. This event could never happen without the support of our many partner organizations, financial sponsors and volunteers.

Sutherland School students thank yous

The Sutherland School outdoor classroom planting, sponsored by One Tree Planted, Zak's Home Hardware and Dutch Growers, saw 27 adult volunteers working with 270 students. Each hour groups of 60 students would arrive for a brief orientation and discussion, who then broke into small groups of 4 to 5 students and would join an adult tree coach for the actual planting. Students ranged in age from pre K - 7th grade. Younger students were paired with older students, with older students doing the bulk of the digging and the younger students filling the soil back in around the tree. Once volunteers had laid the paper weed barrier both age groups helped with moving mulch and watering the tree. Students named their trees, discussed what trees do for us and what we can do to help the trees get established. Ultimately the day culminated with 77 native species being planted, 27 volunteers shared their knowledge and 270 students gained a closer connection to trees. Following the event, the 8th grade students continued to add more wood chip mulch to get it up to 4 inches in depth. At the end of the day the principal turned the 2 inch watering hose into a sprinkler for students to run through if they chose. It was a hot day and as the last of us loaded up the sky opened up and soaked the planting with a torrential downpour.

2023 Group Photo

Our adult volunteers included SOS Trees Coalition members & friends, school parents, Canadian Western Bank volunteers and members of the University Husky women's soccer team. Students represented a broad variety of cultural backgrounds, some recent arrivals to Canada, and students with disabilities. A personal high point was seeing a 2nd grade student with some of the greatest behavioural challenges in the school light up with the opportunity to connect with the trees and take responsibility by mulching them. He had a very good day.

Special thanks to the Arbor Week Committee: Caroline Dinter, Carmen Gilmore, Tom Gode, Rae Hearn, Sharon Leach and Linda Moskalyk.

The Friends of the Forestry Farm House: Open House & Walking Tour
Forestry farm tree tour and historical talk
Pruning Workshop

SOS Trees Coalition was pleased to offer a hands-on pruning workshop instructed by local ISA Certified Arborist Robin Adair.

Pruning Workshop
Martensville Tree Planting

Zak's Hardware and Building Centre sponsored a community tree planting in Martensville, with Valley Manor Elementary students in Kinsmen Park. Big thanks to Martensville Recreation & Community Services for their support.

Martensville Planting
Tree Planting Day at Sutherland School

SOS Trees Coalition partnered with Sutherland School, One Tree Planting, Zak's Hardware and Building Centre and Dutch Growers to plant trees and incorporate a living outdoor classroom area.

Sutherland School Planting

Watch the video from Global News highlighting the planting event: