Published in The BANAR November 2015
by Justine Payne
Phase three of Blackburn’s annual tree planting was a beautiful tribute and another success for the hamlet! The third community tree planting event was held on Saturday, October 24th at Agnes Purdy Park (formerly South Park). It was a cool but sunny day this year as more than 20 volunteers of all ages came out to get their hands dirty. More than 30 trees and shrubs were planted to increase the variety of trees in our community, and to help recover from the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion that has killed many of our native ash trees.
There were special guests in attendance for this community tree planting. Members of the Purdy family came to honour their beloved matriarch Agnes Purdy, whom the park was named after. Multiple generations of the family came to honour her memory and to show support for the event. It was an honour to hear from Agnes Purdy’s eldest grandson, Bill Pierson who spoke about her life. A Sugar Maple tree was planted in Agnes’ honour by members of the Purdy family.
This event could not have taken place without the support of many people. A big thank you goes out to the tree planting volunteers who braved the fall temperatures to come plant new additions in the park. Thank you to Velta Tomsons and the team at Ecology Ottawa for helping plan this annual event. As well, thank you to the forestry department of the City of Ottawa who have been supportive of the event and for providing the native trees and shrubs. Thank you to the Blackburn Hamlet Association for providing treats and drinks for all the volunteers and supporters. A special thanks goes out to Erin Purdy who coordinated the tribute and to the other members of the Purdy family for their support. It was an honour to have the community tree planting event become a lovely tribute to such a wonderful woman.
These community tree planting projects will be taking place annually in the Hamlet. We are looking at other parks and areas where future tree plantings could take place.