Replenishing Trail

Tree planting symbolizes Rotary’s ongoing efforts to replenish Trail hillsides

Trail Rotarians and dignitaries gathered at Rotary Park on Wednesday to plant a tree commemorating the long-term effort of the Rotary Club of Trail in the greening the community. Club members started mass plantings in the early 1950s and many other groups and individuals joined in and eventually covered the barren surrounding hillsides with trees. Club members and friends planted trees as recently as last year. Planting the ceremonial maple tree are Mayor Mike Martin, a long-time former Rotarian, and Rotary District Governor Jerri Anderson from Sandpoint, ID. Also attending were (l to r): Ass’t District Gov. Lynn O’Connor from Colville, and Trail Rotarians Ardith White, club President Jan Morton, Mike Patterson, and Richard Fish.

What began as one man’s quest to see Trail’s dying hillsides revived has become a source of pride for an entire community and an international organization.

In a symbolic ceremony on Wednesday, Jerri Anderson, the governor for Rotary District 5080, which encompasses western Washington, southeast B.C. and northwest Idaho, joined Trail Mayor Mike Martin in planting a tree in Trail’s Rotary Park to commemorate decades of tree planting by Trail Rotarians.

Rotary tree planting began with Rotarian Joe Landucci who started doing his own experiments with reforestation in the 1930s.

In an essay by Judy Pitre, Landucci’s daughter, the first “official” tree planting started in 1955 but the roots of the program began way before that in the family’s yard where Landucci planted willow clippings he intended to use for tree planting.

She described his anguish of watching vegetation around Trail dying from the smelter smoke. That prompted him to begin his crusade.

He would plant seedlings on the hillsides around Trail but had little luck with any sustained success.

However, through observation and research he learned how the shade provided by willows helped encourage pine seedlings to grow. He knew how to give his plants a fighting chance through shade, moisture and support. Once the willows he planted began establishing themselves in the area, he began planting small pine seedlings and thus the tree-panting program began to grow.

The initial efforts involved a few Rotarians and some volunteers with the right equipment. There was success and set backs but the dedication didn’t waver.

The tree planting program grew and evolved and soon became an annual fall event in Trail, wrote Pitre.

A variety of groups, ranging from Girl Guides, to Cominco, to the City of Trail began helping out.

Meanwhile the B.C. Department of Forests contributed seedlings for many years. By some estimated, over five million trees have been planted over the decades resulting in the surrounding forested hillsides today.

Pitre described accounts from Rotarians climbing steep shale or sandy slopes with shovels and “quiet pride,” to fulfill their goal.

“The yellow and orange hillsides that adorn Trail in the fall today are there because of the work that these men quietly accomplished,” she added.

Just Posted

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Tea, crafts, music and dance this weekend in Greater Trail

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Education, training a big part of trade fair

Exhibitors are seeing a lot of interest in education, training or skills upgrading at the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Selkirk College nursing students visit Honduran migrants

Students were overwhelmed by migrants’ hope in the face of poverty and displacement

Most Read