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Planting with a purpose: Students join Kelsos on latest fundraising quest

Dynamic duo Megan and Cody along with five Grade 6 and 7 classes from the Sunshine Coast were out in full force over April 4, 5 and 6 planting trees.
Planting with a purpose took place April 4 to 6.

Dynamic duo Megan and Cody along with five Grade 6 and 7 classes from the Sunshine Coast were out in full force over April 4, 5 and 6 planting trees. The concept came from Cody and tied into this team’s will to help change our local community, one non-profit at a time across the Coast. Their current fundraiser is “Plant, Paddle, Pulverise for the Planet”.  

It was about a year ago when Cody and his mom were up a scissor lift (Elevate for the Environment), when Cody came up with the idea of wanting to plant trees and tie this in with other kids from Grade 7 (or 6/7 split) classes. The thought was, if they could get trees sponsored for planting, they could raise funds via donations for the trees and turn around and plant these trees. Cody’s mom reached out to the Sunshine Coast Community Forest, and they offered to donate 1,000 trees to raise money and they also offered to teach the kids about forestry, planting, and tree identification. 

The process of tree planting takes a few years. The area needs to be identified, discussed with the local community (including the local Indigenous community), trees ordered, grown, the area harvested and finally the trees planted. Over 99 per cent of trees harvested stay on the Sunshine Coast for use with local millers receiving a good amount of these trees harvested, but also hydro poles are created from these trees and used locally.  

The area planted was in a harvested area known at EW24. The kids were able to learn from a silviculturist and forester about how to identify hemlocks (top of the trees bend over and backs of the needles are silver), Douglas fir (the tree cones have mice coming out of each seed), and white pine (has five needles in a bundle whereas lodgepole have only two). They also learned that this area was devastated by two fires happening in 1880 and 1920. They got to see examples of veteran Doug firs (these are survivors of the fires and left behind, not harvested), which would have produced the trees that were found in the area following those fires. Bats also live in the crevasses of their bark! 

The final step was learning how to plant the trees, including getting through three different layers of organic matter to get to the soil where trees then need to be planted two to three cm deeper than the plug itself. These trees then need to be tamped into place to keep them in the ground firmly and upright (green side up of course! A forestry joke they learned).  

One of the most interesting facts that was learned was that the week before planting, Cody’s class did a debate on whether block EW24 should be logged. The class’s decision, partially due to the fact that partial proceeds of the block go back into the community and that this block can be planted and harvested again in the future, was to log it. The day they showed up and learned that this was block EW24 that they would be planting was a full circle moment for them.  

The three days brought Langdale, Cedar Grove, Davis Bay and Ecole de Pacifique out to help give back to our community. Just over $1,000 was raised through donations and these proceeds will go to the Loon Foundation for solar panels for the EarthFair Store. The event was a growing success. Megan and Cody would like to thank all the schools, Sunshine Coast Community Forest, Sunshine Coast Community Solar Association, and all those who have supported them and those who continue to do so in the future as well! You can make a tax-deductible donation through the website