This spring and summer, our watershed stewardship group, along with 7 others in the province, and with the support of the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds (SAW) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), piloted the Saskatchewan Tree for Life Program. The program is a climate change initiative that helps encourage planting trees and shrubs for climate change mitigation. As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) and stores it in its biomass, dead organic matter, and in soils. This means that the carbon uptake by trees reduces the rate that carbon accumulates in the atmosphere. A 10-year-old tree absorbs 48 pounds of CO2 each year.
In May and June over 27,000 trees were given away and planted province-wide! This program was quite successful – trees were dispersed in a matter of days! Trees were given to schools, communities, parks, and individuals on a first-come, first-serve basis across the province.
As part of the initiative, people were asked to share their opinion and knowledge of climate change through an online survey. The survey’s purpose will be to help guide programming about climate change. Programs will provide information that will help us understand what climate change is, what it means to us and what we can do to help mitigate it. Two surveys are available – one for young people and one for adults. Results of the surveys will be compiled and analyzed later in the year.
We also asked people to take a picture with their planted tree! We wanted to see as many trees as possible in the ground, in their new homes! To encourage people to share, those who submitted a photo will be entered into a draw, which will be made in the fall.
We would like to thank all who have participated in this program. We would also like to encourage everyone to take the Climate Change Survey – whether you received a tree or not, please fill in the survey! As a thank you, you will be entered to win a $500 gift card! You can find the survey at visit https://saskwatersheds.ca/saskatchewan-tree-for-life-program/