Big planting on trailway brings more native trees to the route

Those walking or biking the section of the Elora Cataract Trailway from First Line heading west to Fergus, will now see groves of new native trees such as oaks, sugar maples, white spruce, serviceberry or trembling aspen.

These 88 new native trees, promising future dappled shade, were planted by 16 dedicated “Communitrees” volunteers.

The group is working to replace the doomed ash trees and to enhance the biodiversity along the trail. Local volunteer Bryan Hayter said, “Count me in anytime . . . great fun, good exercise and a legacy for our community.”

Communitrees, in a partnership with NeighbourWoods, is a community of volunteers committed to planting a “community” of native trees, shrubs and native wildflowers along  the Elora Cataract Trailway and also in the community.  

The specific diversity of native trees found thriving in nature helps inform Communitrees’ tree choices in creating the beginnings of new, resilient ecosystems.

Elora Cataract Trailway board president Raymond Soucy offered congratulations to Communitrees.

“The native plant restoration project completed this autumn on our Elora Cataract Trailway is an inspiring sight,” said Soucy.

“This well-travelled section of our rail trail has been transformed by the planting of over 85 good-sized native trees. The result is not only beautiful but hopeful, as we anticipate the loss of the numerous groves of ash trees along the trailway.  

“This highly-motivated group, Communitrees, led by Carolyn Crozier has a vision, which has attracted community volunteers.  Our Elora Cataract Trailway board strongly supports and applauds this work.”

Thanks to generous funding from TD Friends of the Environment, Communitrees was able to purchase large, locally-grown stock that includes: white and red oak, trembling aspens, white pines, white spruce, sugar maples, basswood and ironwood .

Officials also thanks the Green Legacy Program, which supplied numerous smaller, free trees including white spruce, oaks and disease-resistant elms.

To find out more about Communitrees, call coordinator Carolyn Crozier at 519-843-3030  or by email