Local briefs – October 17

A forest of 500 trees and shrubs added to the McKenzie trails area is expected to absorb more than 83,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 80 years.

Trees, shrubs

planted in

city parks

A forest of 500 trees and shrubs added to the McKenzie trails area is expected to absorb more than 83,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 80 years.

Representatives with energy giant Devon Canada Corp. and nonprofit organization Tree Canada joined staff from the City of Red Deer for the planting of trees within the recreational area. The majority of the trees were planted on Thursday and Friday, with the remainder to be planted next week.

Although smaller in number when compared with the 17,000 seedlings planted in 2008, this year’s trees are not smaller in size. About 50 of the trees planted were three or more metres tall, with root balls weighing 360 kg to 675 kg.

The larger trees have a higher survival rate and provide shelter for last year’s seedlings, while the native shrubs will enhance wildlife habitat.

Devon’s two-year partnership with Tree Canada is valued at $100,000.

“These large trees are going to provide the residents of Red Deer with clean air, habitat for wildlife and will beautify the city for years to come,” said Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada.

Local students

raise funds

for solar panels

A student club is close to reaching its $35,000 goal towards installing solar panels on the roof of Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School.

On Friday, ATCO Gas donated $5,000 to the Eco-Vision Club’s solar panel project. The total tally now stands at an estimated $27,000.

Club president and Grade 11 student Charles Nokes said the solar panels could be installed by the end of the school year.

He said the school recently updated its heating system, so it was decided the panels would be better used for electricity.

The three kilowatt photovoltaic panels will be used to harness the energy from the sun.

“It will reduce about 200 kg of carbon emissions a month,” Nokes said. The club, which includes about 20 students and teacher Steve Schultz, also sees the solar panel project as an educational one for the entire school population.

Since Eco-Vision began in September 2008, it has launched a number of green initiatives, including a cardboard and pop can recycling program.

It’s also looking to beautifying the school with flower and vegetable gardens.

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