By Tristan Marks
Not all trees are created equal.
While every tree can act as a carbon dioxide sink, it takes up to 269 saplings to do the work of just one of the old growth trees standing in Grimsby Beach.
These trees are multi-talented, too, providing food for local Carolinian creatures, prolonging the longevity of roads, and performing many other duties for the residents and environment of Grimsby Beach.
Their service hasn’t gone unnoticed. The residents of Grimsby Beach erected 20 different signs on their local trees to explain the many duties these mature trees perform as a way of raising awareness among visitors to the neighbourhood.
“Our trees are quietly cleaning our air and we don’t notice it,” said Kate Sharrow, the Grimsby Beach resident behind this initiative. “We absolutely need to protect our mature trees.”
This initiative comes as the Town of Grimsby is completing a land use study for the neighbourhood. Sharrow said residents have been concerned about the some of the comments coming from Town Staff.
“Town planners said they’d have no trouble seeing up to 89 per cent lot coverage from new constructions,” said Sharrow. “That leaves little room for parking spaces, and definitely little room for planting tree canopies.”
“We don’t have the land to plant enough saplings that would be able to filter the same level of toxins those trees originally did,” said Sharrow.
The neighbourhood has also seen a shift in the type of tourism it receives since the COVID pandemic set in.
“Now tourists are trying to find the best photo-op,” she said.
Sharrow came up with the idea to put up these educational tree signs to act as photo spots for the social media tourists.
Sharrow started by putting up signs on some of the trees that stand on public spaces, but she quickly began receiving requests from her neighbours to put sign on the trees standing in their property. In total there are now 20 signs throughout Grimsby Beach.