Saskia Van Beers of Victoria, B.C. and Emmanuelle Martin of Fredricton, N.B., plant trees to extend Maskepetoon Park as part of a Children’s International Summer Villages Peace Bus Tour. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN, Advocate staff).

Red Deer’s Maskepetoon Park grows through tree-planting efforts

Young volunteers from across the country give back in spades

Red Deer’s Maskepetoon Park is growing — with initial help from volunteer tree planters from across Canada.

A crew of 13 students from British Columbia to Atlantic Canada were busy planting the first trees that will eventually extend the wooded park across a grassy bank behind Oswald Close in Oriole Park on Wednesday morning.

The local planting effort was initiated by Cody Mast, a Red Deer native, who now lives in Cremona. He’s among the 16- to 18-year-old volunteers travelling the country to learn from different communities, and to give back, through the Children’s International Summer Villages national Peace Bus tour.

Mast got to choose the volunteer Peace Bus project for his home community, so he picked tree-planting because of his affinity for nature and belief in sustainability. That’s one of four pillars of the Peace Bus program that also focuses on human rights, diversity and conflict resolution.

Mast’s suggestion happened to fit with the City of Red Deer’s plan to create an urban forest between Hwy 2 and Oriole Park.

Increasing Maskepetoon Park is a great way of reducing traffic noise and soil erosion, and boosting natural habitat, said Becky Pasay, a city forestry technician. “We’d also like to create a wind break.”

She added there’ll be less mowing needed, so less money will be spent on maintenance and watering. “It’s also good for wildlife.”

The Peace Bus students only got a start on the project — lots of more volunteer hours will be needed for planting the hundreds of trees and shrubs that will make up the new wooded tract of Maskepetoon Park. “But it’s a good start,” added Pasay.

The youths are travelling from Halifax to Victoria. So far, they have taken in the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, a Quebec indigenous film festival, a Saskatchewan aboriginal cultural centre, a Nova Scotia self-sufficient garden and many other sites.

“It’s been awesome,” said Mast, who’s learned history from the native perspective, as well as about Canada’s spotty human rights record and recent efforts to do better.

The idea of the non-profit program is to empower young people and build their leadership skills by expanding their knowledge of Canada and the issues this county faces, said team leader Alison Steward.

By forming a deeper understanding of individuals from other cultures, the youths are building a greater awareness of how much “these other people are just like us,” she added.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

.

 

Isaac Vandenberg of Chelsea. Que., Saskia Van Beers of Victoria, B.C. and Emmanuelle Martin of Fredricton, N.B., plant trees to extend Maskepetoon Park as part of a Children’s International Summer Villages Peace Bus Tour. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN, Advocate staff).

Just Posted

Christmas season in Red Deer begins with Festival of Trees

The kickoff to the Christmas season in Red Deer is upon us.… Continue reading

Judge allows Mr. Big evidence in murder trial

Two men accused of triple-murder admitted their involvement to undercover police

Red Deer agency supporting for LGBTQ2S+ youth

New report on LGBTQ2S+ youth from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Four people arrested after gas and dash

Four people were arrested after an alleged gas and dash in two… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month