Climate Justice Niagara (CJN) is poised for planting as part of the Communion Forest in 2024, after receiving a $7,500 grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada. The grant is matched by the Diocese of Niagara for a combined $15,000.
The funding will support the Niagara Communion Forest— Inventory, Planting, and Stewardship initiative, assisting parishes of the diocese with tree inventories to determine the state of current trees as well as the potential for future planting.
Green Venture in Hamilton will be an active partner in the training process and will provide guidance throughout the project. CJN will also be working with Neighbourwoods in Toronto, a community-based tree inventory, monitoring, and stewardship planning program.
Parish volunteers will learn from these experts in the field how to identify, monitor and measure native trees. Together with CJN, they will be guided to plan and participate in mini forest planting or select native shade trees to plant, increasing church property tree cover and urban forest health.
To ensure long-term sustainability of the trees planted, parish volunteers will also be engaged in learning to care for, maintaining and protecting trees on church properties and in their neighbourhoods.
To further support this work, the diocese will be taking on an Environmental Management student from Niagara College. Raul Guerrero started his 13-week placement with Deirdre Pike, justice and outreach program consultant, on January 10, 2024. One of the first orders of business is to create and distribute a brief parish survey to help choose the first 10–15 parishes participating in the Communion Forest. The training will be completed in the spring, with planting to take place in the fall.
The Communion Forest is a global initiative comprising local activities of forest protection, tree growing and eco-system restoration undertaken by provinces, dioceses and individual churches across the Anglican Communion to safeguard creation.
For more information, please connect with one of the CJN Communion Forest members. Bruce Mackenzie, [email protected] (St. George’s, Guelph) ; Fran Wallace, [email protected]; (St. Aidan’s Oakville); or Deirdre Pike, deirdre.pike@ niagaraanglican.ca