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Plans for a tree nursery near arena

Posted on August 2, 2022 by Maple Creek
Tree canopies have long been a feature of the town.

Tree canopies – often seen as one of Maple Creek’s most attractive features. The challenge, of course, is finding enough trees to replace those that come down.
Now the Town has an answer. It is planning to set up a tree nursery south of the Community Arena, outside the ball diamond fence.
The project should be completed by spring 2023. Initially, 50 saplings will be grown. Once 4-5ft tall, they will be placed around town.
News on the intended nursery and irrigation design was given to Town Council, which considered a recommendation to approve the proposed location. Savannah Mass, communications and tourism manager, had prepared a written report. She also spoke about the project.
“This is good news,” she said at the July 26 Town Council meeting.
In April 2022, Mass applied to the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) for a “Parks for All Action Grant” for a tree nursery and irrigation design and continuing education project.
She told Council that the application for the sum of $1,555 was approved, and the first cheque had been deposited in the bank.
“Now it’s a matter of where the nursery goes up,” she said.
Mass said the proposed location near the arena was supported by Kelly Keslick, Parks & Recreation Leadperson, who would be responsible for maintaining the nursery.
“There is a water source on the south edge of the ball diamond for the irrigation design to tie into,” her written report stated. “At this time, the proposed location sits as undisturbed vegetation.
“We would like to see the area be rototilled and prepped with the irrigation design within the 2022 season for planting to occur in April 2023.”
Her report explained the project’s education component involving the Communities in Bloom Steering Committee and Sidney Street School; students would attend spring workshops and help with the planting of seedlings.
“The deadline for project completion in accordance with the grant follow-up is April 23, 2023. We have received our first payment (75 per cent of the total grant) so work can begin as soon as possible.”
Speaking to Council, Mass said another potential site for the project, near the water treatment plant, had been examined. About 30 years ago, a tree nursery had been set up there.
However, the site was now deemed unsuitable because no water source could be found.
“It is quite overgrown,” said Mass.
Councillor Betty Abbott voiced excitement at the tree nursery plan.
“It is a great idea,” she said.
She wondered what type of trees were proposed, and how long it would take for the saplings to grow before being distributed in the town.
Mass said elms seemed to do quite well in Maple Creek, along with silver maples and poplars, depending on the variety.  She said saplings would be grown from 10 inches to 4-5ft, before being taken out of the nursery. They could then be used for the boulevard tree program, or placed in parks and other recreation sites.
“It won’t be a few years before the trees are ready to go out. It gives us ample time to make a plan about where we want the trees placed.”
Councillor Abbott believed poplars should be considered because of their height. Maples, on the other hand, don’t get very high, she added, while there was a trimming issue with poplars.
“Don’t get any pine trees,” she urged.
Councillor Tina Cresswell pointed out that green ash “do very well” and were quite vibrant.
She commended Mass for the project, believing there were a lot of poplars in town due to come down. The quicker they could be replaced, the better.
Mass agreed, saying trees were coming down faster than they could be replaced.
Councillor Jill Roy also praised “a fabulous idea”, adding that she was glad to see the involvement of Sidney Street School.
Councillor Abbott suggested that there was space on Murraydale Crescent that could be looked at as another potential location.
Council approved the proposed location of the tree nursery and irrigation design.

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