Many trees donated for the Morrisburg waterfront park

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Many trees donated for the Morrisburg waterfront park
Picture by Friends of the Morrisburg Waterfront

MORRISBURG – A posting on social media after seeing an old tree cut down has resulted in more trees donated for the Morrisburg waterfront park.

A week-and-a-half ago, Michael Burton, who is chair of the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee, posted online after seeing a tree on St. Lawrence Street in Morrisburg cut down.

The tree was damaged and being removed by Rideau-St. Lawrence Utilities.

“It was on a whim,” he said. “I posted online and people started messaging. I still have people contacting me, and the supplier has run out of trees.”

So far 19 trees have been donated to be planted in the waterfront park. Burton said the need is great in that park, and Earl Baker Park due to the damage from Emerald Ash Borer.

He said within the next two years the remaining Ash trees will be gone.

Burton is encouraged by the support and is looking to planting the trees, grown by Rijke Produce Farm, later this summer in coordination with the waterfront committee and the municipality.

Looking ahead, he said that he’d like to see more trees planted, not to block river views, but to provide shade and cover for park users.

“It’s not getting any cooler out in the summer and there needs to be more shade in the park. We’re going to plant the trees so there isn’t a big tree wall.”

Burton explained the issue at the park is many of the trees were planted from the same species. The resulting damage from the EAB is devastating to the park. New plantings have been hardy tree species and with many varieties able to withstand some of the elements including the wind off Lake St. Lawrence and the cold weather.

New park lights, and some boulders to help contain vehicular traffic will also be installed this summer.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in this park over the last four years, probably the most in recent terms of council,” he said. “We have ideas for the next four years and hopefully have support for them.”

Anyone interested in donating a tree for the park can contact Burton at the Russell Manor – 613-543-3871.

This article was originally written for The Morrisburg Leader

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