Gratitude for Earth Parade, May show and Tree Giveaway Event in VKH

Four years ago, young Charlie won a climate change contest in Vankleek Hill with a simple yet impactful proposal: plant ten trees. Today, at the age of 10, Charlie, with the help of his family, has turned this small initiative into a significant project. What started as ten trees has now grown to 120, and on May 19th, they will be giving away these trees at the Gratitude for Earth parade in Vankleek Hill.

The event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the Creating Centre. The corner will be adorned with stunning paper-mache puppets that will march along Main Street in Vankleek Hill. During the event, Charlie will have his own booth offering lemonade, and attendees can visit him and his friends to adopt a tree to take home. 


I had the pleasure of speaking with Susie Fairbrother, Charlie’s grandmother, who shared the inspiration behind this initiative. The project aims to encourage tree planting, combat deforestation, and fight climate change. Among the varieties available for adoption are silver maple, red spruce, red pine, and white pine.

During our conversation, I asked Susie what individuals can do to combat climate change starting at home. She provided some practical suggestions, including planting trees to keep the air clean, participating in community gardens, being mindful of composting and recycling, and opting for second-hand clothes to reduce waste and emissions.

What do we know about deforestation? 


Deforestation is the clearing, destruction, or removal of forests or trees from an area, typically to convert the land for agricultural or commercial use. It can have significant negative impacts on the environment, biodiversity, and climate.






Here are some key points about deforestation:

1. Environmental Impact: Deforestation can lead to loss of habitat for wildlife, disruption of ecosystems, and soil erosion. It can also contribute to climate change by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


2. Biodiversity Loss: Forests are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. When forests are cleared, many species lose their habitat and can become endangered or extinct.


3. Climate Change: Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate climate change. When trees are cut down or burned, this stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect.


4. Water Cycle Disruption: Trees play a crucial role in regulating the water cycle by absorbing and releasing water through transpiration. Deforestation can disrupt this cycle, leading to changes in local weather patterns and potentially causing droughts or floods.


5. Indigenous Communities: Deforestation can also negatively impact indigenous communities who rely on forests for their livelihoods and cultural practices. Their land rights and way of life can be threatened by deforestation.


Efforts to combat deforestation include conservation initiatives, sustainable forestry practices, reforestation projects, and policies to protect forests and promote sustainable land use. It is important for individuals, governments, and businesses to work together to address the root causes of deforestation and protect our planet’s forests for future generations.

The Gratitude for Earth parade in Vankleek Hill will form part of the May show (10 am to 4 pm, Main Street VKH, Sunday, May 19th). Everyone is invited to dress up in fun nature-themed costumes, so join us for a fun family day with music, dance, delicious food, and arts and crafts from local artists. 






Support Susie, Charlie, and Mother Earth by taking a tree home and positively impacting our environment. Let’s come together to protect and preserve our planet for a greener and healthier future!


Follow Charlie and his environmental project here: