Honouring an elected legislator for contributions to the conservation of wildlife in Canada
The past September, Canadians across the country marked a special occasion: the celebration of the first-ever National Tree Day, honouring the contribution trees make to the well-being of air, water and habitat in rural and urban environments. Credit for the celebration goes to Tree Canada, a national non-profit organization that promotes tree planting, and its many partners. Special mention, however, also belongs to Royal Galipeau, the MP for Orleans-Ottawa, who put a private member’s motion through the House of Commons, ensuring that National Tree Day, now an annual event, would proceed as a celebration officially recognized by Parliament.
That Galipeau would champion such a measure comes as no surprise to those who know him. He has a long history of community service, and his family has long been active in tree planting. Together, they have been responsible for planting 200,000 trees in eastern Ontario. Galipeau, who has been responsible for planting 50,000 trees himself, also conducts local plantings each year in recognition of individual members of his community.
Galipeau has said that part of his motivation for bringing National Tree Day to Parliament has been to give his local efforts a national platform. And judging by the response to the first National Tree Day, he’s succeeding: communities from coast to coast marked the day with 150 events, including official tree plantings, educational events and fundraising activities. Mark your calendars and take part this year: National Tree Day falls on the Wednesday of the final week in September.