TD Tree Days benefits Ellis Creek

It takes a community to be green. The City of Penticton is hosting a community partnership between TD Friends of the Environment and the South Okanagan Community to restore habitat along Ellis Creek during the fifth annual TD Tree Days.

“The City of Penticton is proud to support the work of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program and TD Friends of the Environment. This tree planting project will have lasting benefits to the local ecosystem for years to come,” said Mayor Garry Litke.

TD Tree Days will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Ellis Creek near Channel Parkway, where 20 trees and 200 shrubs will be planted. The property being restored this year is adjacent to the City of Penticton's Ellis Creek Park –benefitting species throughout the area.

TD Tree Days is a volunteer event initiated five years ago, bringing TD employees and their families, customers and community partners together to support local forest stewardship. TD Tree Days is part of TD Forests, a major TD conservation program aimed at growing and protecting forested areas and reducing paper use. The goal of TD Friends of the Environment is to plant more than 50,000 trees in 2014 – adding to the five-year total of 175,000 trees throughout Canada.

“We are thrilled to be at Ellis Creek for a second year in a row for TD Tree Days,and to help restorethis habitat which is (now) home to ducklings, butterflies, beavers and fish. It is so encouraging to see that the trees planted during last year's event are thriving. We are grateful for the support of over 40volunteers who will come out to help plant hundreds of shrubs andtrees, and to the City for hosting us at the Ellis Creek Park," shared Tracey Bussanich, Customer Service Representative, TD Canada Trust and volunteer site leader.

The South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program is a partnership of 48 organizations working together to maintain the unique natural areas of this region. Program representatives selected Ellis Creek for the tree-planting project, due to the need for restorative action.

“Forests that run beside our creeks, rivers and streams throughout the Okanagan Valley bottom have been significantly impacted by humans. The lush cottonwood forests that shade our fish-bearing streams are rare and we need to do whatever we can to bring them back,” said Bryn White, Manager of the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program.

Volunteers have pre-registered for the event, to ensure enough hands are available.Thanks go to local businesses donating food and refreshments for the tree planting volunteers: Cobs Bread Riverside Village, Starbucks, and the Slow Food Thompson Okanagan group with Chef Van Geest at Miradoro Restaurant, Chef Adair Scott at Watermark Beach Resort, and Harker's Organics.