County employees planted 3,500 trees

Wellington County got a little greener last week.

About 100 county employ­ees and their families parti­ci­pat­ed in the third annual Ward­en’s Tree Planting Day.

About 3,500 trees were strate­gically planted under the county’s Green Legacy program as living snow fences and shelter belts on the Kalbfleisch family farm.

The event is the official kick off to the county’s windbreak and shelter belt program. The county hopes to encourage local landowners to plant living snow fences on private prop­erty along Wellington roads. Lines of trees can block drifting snow and reduce the number of whiteouts during storms.

“I want to thank all of the individuals who helped plant trees today,” said Warden John Green. “This is an exciting pro­ject for the county and I hope local landowners are inspired to follow suit and allow wind­breaks to be planted on their property. Living snow fences will make county roads safer dur­ing the snowy winter months.”

County director of planning Gary Cousins said, “There are many benefits for these types of strategic plantings. Wind­breaks can increase crop yields significantly, and most import­antly they can control blowing snow and drifts on roads.”

Councillor Walter Trachsel, the chairman of the county’s plan­ning committee said, “Plant­ing trees is a simple way to improve the environment. Since 2004, the county has plant­ed over 760,000 trees under the Green Legacy pro­gram.

“The Green Legacy pro­gram continues to set the envi­ronmental leadership bar high.”

During Arbour Week, the county will plant 154,000 trees in Wellington with the help of local municipalities, schools, conservation authorities, ser­vice clubs, organizations and private landowners.

Mapleton was chosen be­cause it is a large rural muni­cipality but is among the low­est in Wellington County when it comes to tree cover. As well, its roads are heavily affected by drifting snow.