Saint-Lazare District has taken on the responsibility of landscaping a small corner of the new Jack Layton Park in Hudson which will be inaugurated in an official ceremony this week-end. To prepare for the opening, the Hudson Guides and Brownies turned out for their last meeting of the year to help plant trees and shrubs in the Girl Guide Corner. From the before photo you can see the location is still rather sparse but it will be fun to watch it all grow in over the next few years. The park overlooks the Lake of Two Mountains and is sure to become a favourite place for residents to take a break, launch their kayak or just hangout and picnic. Or, perhaps for us Girl Guides, a place to come for an outing and, to borrow form the title of a favorite Guiding campfire song …Linger.
During the meeting the girls filled and hauled the wheel barrow with earth and fetched water from the lake while leaders Lydia and Dawn and Amanda dug holes.
I admit the extent of my contribution was taking photos but I can vouch that the girls had a blast while at the same time learning the correct method for planting trees ( not to mention the game of “let’s splash the photographer” was a real hit!)
What’s not love about an activity that purposely includes sifting your hands in dirt, getting muddy and playing in water ?
In case you want to do the same here’s the 12-step formula for an easy tree planting meeting:
1. Leader ( or enthusiastic girl) start digging hole
2. Swat bugs and wipe sweat from brow
3. Dig some more
4. Repeat step #2 until hole is deep enough.
5. Add plant & ask helper to add water and earth.
6. Ask for more water and earth
7. Look for water bucket that was there a minute ago. Look for helpers and wonder where they and enthusiastic girl who was digging the hole next to you went.
8. Assume ( hope?) they’ve gone for more water
9. Swat some more bugs while waiting & wonder what all the noise is down by the lake
10. Add the half bucket of water that finally makes its way back to you while telling the photographer to please not let the girls play with the toad even if it makes for a great picture.
11 Wonder more about the noise at lake. Assume no need to worry since photographer will have captured photo of anyone who falls in.
12. Repeat above until tree(s) or shrub(s) securely planted.
Joking aside, the planting session was a great success. Not only did it result in a task well completed through teamwork while teaching a valuable life-skill, ( I, for example, learned the correct distance to maintain from splashing girls to keep my camera from getting wet!), but it also demonstrates how Guiding allows us to take an active role in our communities. This in turn doesn’t just enrich the community but potentially us as individuals through the sense of connection it allows us to make to both place and people. How cool will it be for a girl to come back to this park in 10 or 20 years and say ‘Hey I helped create this!’ ?
Have a happy summer!
GGC Saint-Lazare District