© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
Su Morin (left) of the River Hebert and Area Garden Club and Joggins Fossil Institute executive director Jenna Boon are looking forward to planting more trees and shrubbery outside the fossil institute on Sept. 15.
JOGGINS - It may be full of rocks on the inside, but life outside the Joggins Fossil Institute continues to grow greener with life. The River Hebert and Area Garden Club, in partnership with the Cumberland County River Enhancement Association, will conduct a native tree planting at the institute on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The planting is part of a larger project entitled the "Acadian Forest Awareness and Enhancement Initiative", made possible by funding from Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program and the Canon Take Root Program, presented by Evergreen. The goal of the project is to help foster community engagement in preserving the local Acadian forests, and to help educate young people about the ecological importance of our native forests, according to project co-ordinator Su Morin. "River Hebert was once comprised of a vast amount of old-growth forest, but today, our local forests are young, even-aged, and not very biologically diverse, compromising overall ecosystem health," said Morin. "Many of the trees that were once much more common in our area, such as yellow birch and eastern hemlock, are not present in large numbers today. Our project hopes to raise awareness about, and help remedy this situation." Healthy forests protect waterways and aquatic habitat from erosion and chemical run-off, provide habitat for numerous wildlife, and help to clean air and sequester carbon, which helps counter global warming, Morin explained. "The centre strives to incorporate native vegetation on the site and welcomes the opportunity to engage the community in increasing the amount of native cover in our area," said Joggins Fossil Institute director Jenna Boon. "There is a tendency to default landscaping to the Victorian historical approach of manicured lawns, (but) we are working hard to diversify that perspective and to preserve and encourage local wild spaces and the native planting is a great opportunity to promote this philosophy". Local cadets will be volunteering to assist with the planting. Anyone interested in volunteering, or for more information, please contact Su Morin at 251-2959, or the fossil centre.