Busy time in community trying to be first to be carbon neutral

 This quiet community was abuzz with activity on April 19.

The entire village has set the goal of going carbon neutral, and to be the first village in North America to do so. Citizens have held numerous events already, but because April 19 was the closest weekend to Earth Day on April 22, the community was particularly busy.

One of the first things to be done on a nice Saturday morning was to plant plant trees. Many citizens ordered trees for their own properties and they also planted at the Eden Mills ball park, along certain township roads, or on a couple of local farms.

The trees were provided by the Wellington County Green Legacy Project.  Officials at Guelph-Eramosa Township helped to choose locations for new trees on township land and also provided larger trees for the park.

At noon, citizens held a community pot-luck picnic, and they were asked to bring a lunch contribution – as well as their own mugs, water contain­ers, plates, cutlery, and blankets.

The afternoon was taken up with creative arts workshops with Environmental and Nat­ural themes, including art, drama, music composition, poetry, photography, pottery, sculpture, and creative move­ment. The workshops, given by Eden Mills artists, and were for all ages.

The community proved to be quite involved in its project of going carbon neutral.

Linda Sword said, “We received from the Green Leg­acy project 2022 trees – about 1,800 were small seedlings; the rest were more advanced.

She said Eden Mills originally planned to plant 1,842 trees this year. That matches the number of the year the first mill opened in Eden Mills.

But, she said, “It became clear that 1,842 trees would not meet the demand this year, so we were fortunate that Green Legacy could provide more trees.”

Some other facts and figures included:

– at least 75 people came to the Earth Day launch event at Memorial Park on Saturday morning;

– The Eden Mills Carbon Neutral Youth Group, led by adults Kit Bresnahan and Bill Allen, organized the whole event;

-56 households planted trees at home – a total of  approximately 1,200 trees;

– in consultation with the Township of Guelph-Eramosa, trees were also slated to be planted on public property, and 800 trees were identified for that purpose;

– the trees were of many varieties, including deciduous, coniferous, and all are native to the area;

– in the afternoon on Saturday, the youth group coordinated a series of arts/crafts workshops featuring Eden Mills artists as  teachers, and working on themes relating to the environment.

At the launch, Rob Johnson of Green Legacy demonstrated the best way to plant young trees, and how to care for them.