Monday, September 16, 2013

Trees are Sanctuaries (Part 2)

Forage Away...but not on RBG Property
writes Barbara McKean in a recent Spectator article.

Not only is it against the law...but off trail activity can do harm.

Picking...digging...or collecting anything on any of the 2,700 acres of property owned by Royal Botanical Gardens (including along the trails, is against the bylaws created under the province's Royal Botanical Gardens Act.)

RBG is a Nature Sanctuary and like many parks and protected areas, we ask our visitors to:
Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.

RBG is Canada's plant biodiversity hot spot.  Our four nature sanctuaries provide habitat for more than 50 species at risk, including some of our country's most endangered species.  We do want people to enjoy our properties and we have a 27-kilometre trail system for that purpose, but at the same time we are working hard to protect and restore ecosystems that are under a huge amount of human-induced stress.  Changing climate...invasive species...pollution...and 200,000 trail users each year put a great deal of pressure on the wild plants and animals living in our area.

Foraging is simply not appropriate for this highly visited nature sanctuary located in a densely populated area.  Let fruit, seeds and entire plants nourish wildlife and sustain ecosystems.

Other Facts:  The RBG has a very  high proportion of the wild plants of Canada in one area.  It is also a significant Bird Area and is part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve!  More than 1,100 species of plants grow within its boundaries. 

The Bashful Bulrush is found nowhere else in Canada and the largest remaining  population of Canada's most endangered tree ~ the Red Mulberry is here at the RBG.

In 2008, RBG was designated as an Amphibian and Reptile Area.

Top Benefits of Trees
(Reasons to plant and care for trees or defend a tree's standing)

…provide wood
…reduce mental fatigue
…are teachers and playmates
…prevent pollution and erosion
…combat the greenhouse effect
...clean the air and provide oxygen
…shield children from ultra-violet rays
…bring diverse groups of people together
…provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife
…increase property values and business traffic
…mark the seasons ~ is it spring, summer, fall or winter?
…block things by masking concrete walls or parking lots
and unsightly views ~ muffle sounds from traffic
…aid patients to heal faster with passive views out their windows
…cool the streets and the city by up to 10 degrees F through shading
…create economic opportunities with harvesting of fruit and income jobs
…conserve energy by being placed strategically around single family homes
 cutting summer air conditioning  needs by up to 50%.
Trees are Mother Nature’s basics
to creating scenery!

Someone is sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
(Warren Buffet)

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.
The 2nd best time is now.

Want a Free Street Tree?

Hamilton's “street tree” program allows homeowners a free tree on the city-owned road allowance.  Dozens of tree species are available...on soil and other environmental  conditions.  Depending on property size and orientation, homeowners can have up to 3 street trees planted. For more information check out

Llan  Shamir

One valuable lesson we learn from a tree is to have patience.  We learn that change can be beautiful.  Each season brings its own beauty.  Without change, we cannot grow!  Roots must be nourished, tended and fed.  Parenthood in all its forms, can only be achieved through love.  We all need a healthy root system to sustain us. Life's lessons learned from a tree will last forever!

Advice from a Tree
Stand tall and proud.
Sink your roots into the earth.
Be content with your natural beauty.
Go out on a limb.
Drink plenty of water.
Remember your roots.
Enjoy the view.

Of Interest:  The above “Advice” is en-scripted on a plaque at Muir Woods National Monument in a lush forest of redwood trees in a canyon just 45 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  The forest of giant trees is shrouded in coastal fogs and one of the few remaining stands of Redwoods in the San Francisco Bay area.. .what John Muir called...the best tree lovers' monument  that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world. He further stated:

The clearest way into the Universe
is through a forest wilderness.

Merle Baird-Kerr … written August 19, 2013
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