This year marks the 100th anniversary of National Forest Week celebrated at the end of September, just when the trees are showing their most glorious colours across our country. Forests are places of sanctuary and tranquility, even in recent times gaining their own therapeutic practice known as “Forest Bathing” – simply breathing in the clean air and reconnecting with nature.
The Telpay Trees Fall Campaign saw another 5,000 trees planned and planted. Alongside the mighty Red River in the heart of Winnipeg, our staff team met for the first time since March. Wearing our masks and physically distancing, we extended the existing tree line with a mix of local trees and berries. Our founder Bill Loewen, having recently celebrated his 90th birthday, dared to join us at the gathering taking distancing precautions seriously. We planted an apple tree there in his honour.
At a special ceremony on National Tree Day, Telpay CEO Cora Jalonen announced our planting a Fruit and Berry Forest in partnership with one of our customers, the Neeginan Aboriginal Centre at their downtown Main Street location. Joined by Mayor Brian Bowman and former parliamentarian, business-owner, and longstanding Tree Canada Board Member Dorothy Dobbie, we ceremonially planted 6 fruit trees and announced our intention to plant over 100 fruit and berry bushes in the Spring of 2020 with the help of Falk Nurseries.
We also hosted another community tree giveaway, bigger and better than ever. On a sunny fall Saturday afternoon, over 300 tree-lovers took part in our unique drive-thru tree giveaway. To keep all these events Covid-safe, we consulted with our Provincial Public Health Officials and took great care to do things the right way. We gave away over 3000 trees in 4 hours!
In the same way that our business, your businesses, and indeed our whole communities must rally to continue on in our essential work, we simply must find new ways to do things safely. In the big picture, the act of planting a tree is a crucial step in improving our relationship with nature so that we can thrive while learning how to exist in a state of balance with nature.