Thousands of people in Fort McMurray either have rebuilt or are rebuilding their homes after last year’s devastating wildfire, but one group is focused on restoring something more natural.
Tree Canada is spending a million dollars to bring trees back to the city, as a part of operation reLeaf.
Paul Jorgenson, with the organization, said it’s going to be a massive undertaking.
“This will be the single largest tree-planting initiative we’ve ever attempted in our organization’s history,” said Paul Jorgenson, Tree Canada spokesperson. “It’s pretty ambitious.”
IN PICTURES: 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire
Seventy-thousand trees are planned for this year alone, in what will be a multi-year effort.
“We’re already starting to lay the groundwork for 2018, and also, possibly, 2019 as well.”
The trees will not only be good for the environment, but will also help people heal, as the new trees will replace the ones that were burned.
“Communities need parks and green space,” said Jorgenson. “They need this to help have a sense of normalcy, to return to everyday life.”
Jorgenson stated that while trees will grow back on their own, it’s a slow process, and trees in the city often take more care to properly get rooted.
For now they just have to wait until the ground thaws, and then shovels can hit the ground.