THUNDER BAY, ONT. — A little bit of rain is perfect for planting young saplings. However, the persistent drizzle is not appreciated by about 30 Thunder Bay Scouts who teamed up with employees from Resolute Forest Product’s woodlands operations to plant 600 trees on Resolute’s private land. The project is part of the Scoutree program which has involved thousands of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venturer Scouts to plant trees across Canada since 1972.
Susan McCutcheon, who leads the 178-Thunder Bay Beaver troop, ages 3 through 7, says tree planting has always been an activity that her group tries to take part in.
“Apart from learning how to plant a tree, (seeing how they are) supporting the community and supporting the environment is the important knowledge they get from it,” she said. “It was a rainy day, so it was a little bit harder on everybody than it would normally be. But Resolute had everything ready for us.”
Resolute provided the seedlings and appropriate safety equipment for each participant, while organization volunteers were on hand to answer any questions from the Scouts about forest management and regeneration.
Joy Cummings, with Scouts Canada in the Thunder Bay district, says there are many learning opportunities for the scouts, especially about stewardship when working together with a large corporation such as Resolute Forest Products.
“It’s extremely important for the sustainability of our forest for both Resolute and for teaching the children about environmental issues and the importance of planting trees,” said Cummings. “Planting trees helps (the environment) — from improving air quality to reducing soil erosion. It helps them to learn to be good corporate citizens by continuing to help with the environment.”
Resolute maintains that “all harvested areas must be regenerated” with forest regeneration, an essential component of responsible and sustainable forest management. Statistics show that less than half of one per cent of Canada’s boreal forest is harvested each year, which is significantly less than what is destroyed annually by natural causes including forest fires, insects and disease.
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