GroupPort Elgin Home Hardware Building Centre hosted a Tree Canada Plant along the Saugeen Rail Trail in Celebration of the fifth annual National Tree Day on Thursday, September 24.

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. To date, over 80 million trees have been planted.

The planting of five Sugar Maples along the Saugeen Rail Trail at the Port Elgin Rotary Club Trail Head Park on River Street took place because Port Elgin Home Hardware Building Centre wanted to help the Saugeen Rail Trail Association celebrate its Silver Jubilee anniversary.

For 25 years, the multi-use trail has offered residents of Saugeen Shores and tourists alike a means of transportation between its two shoreline communities. Through donations and membership fees, its volunteers have been able to beautify the space with memorial trees, gardens, benches, washroom facilities and rest areas. Trees along the trail provide shelter as well as a noise buffer from neighbouring residences which can be found along the parts of the trail's 30 kilometre stretch. This is the second year Port Elgin Home Hardware has participated in Home Hardware's annual tree plants with Tree Canada.

“We're excited to work together with Tree Canada and Home Hardware Stores Limited on this important project,” said Peter Gauthier, Dealer-Owner, Port Elgin Home Hardware. “We have enjoyed great support from the local community, and this is an excellent opportunity to give back in a real and tangible way to thank our customers and community for their support over the years.”

"On behalf of the Town of Saugeen Shores I would like to thank and congratulate Port Elgin Home Hardware Building Centre for participating and being one of thirty eight stores from across Canada to receive a grant in support of National Tree Day,” said Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith. “National Tree Day celebrates the benefits trees provide in our communities and with this generous grant a number of trees will be planted along one of Saugeen Shores’ beautiful trails for all to enjoy. Again, thank you to all the great people at Port Elgin Home Hardware Building Centre."

President of the Saugeen Rail Trail Association, Joyce Scammell said, “We are deeply appreciative and just overwhelmed that we've been chosen for this and it's just very honorable for sure.”

Sarah Sloan of the Port Elgin Home Hardware store explained that each year they have the opportunity to apply for a grant from Home Hardware and this year they were one of the 38 stores selected from across the country. Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada's largest Dealer-owned hardware, lumber, building materials and furniture cooperative with close to 1,100 stores.

With the money from the grant they were able to purchase the five Sugar Maples from Everest Nurseries in Hepworth and also pay for the excavation.

Sloan, who applied for the grant in May this year, said, “When I applied you had to choose an organization in town and I knew that Saugeen Rail Trail was celebrating their 25th year and they've done a lot to beautify the area.”Rail TrailTree Off TruckTree Planting