Melanie Valente-Leite, News Reporter
Lynn Short is so concerned about the fate of the Earth that she wept as she spoke about Humber Arboretum’s five-year plan to raise awareness about the environment.
“I get really emotional when talking about the earth. Every day is a gift, even if it’s raining. Water is life and the rain is our liquid sunshine,” said Short, Humber’s Environmental Stewardship coordinator.
Alexandra Link, director of the Arboretum, said on Sept. 23 the five-year strategic plan hopes to create opportunities for Humber students to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and increase participation in Arboretum programs, such as beekeeping, children’s day camps and a gardening program.
“As I stand in front of you, I am confident that we created a plan that reflects the needs of our community and provides a map for our future,” Link said.
Short launched the annual Earth cleanup tradition for picking up trash throughout the Humber Arboretum a year ago, gathering up to 88 bags of trash to help restore its beauty because people were carelessly littering, not thinking about the environment.
As the Arboretum launched its plan for 2019-2024, staff spoke about how important it was that everyone contributed because without volunteers and countless hours of work under the hot, summer sun, the Arboretum wouldn’t be what it is today.
“I want to thank the residents, the staff and students that contributed to this over the last almost 14 months,” said Darrell Gray, director of Training and Outreach at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. “It’s really their contribution that is most important.
“It was their contributions that formed the foundation of this,” he said.
Another step to increasing awareness about the environment that aids the Arboretum is planting trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gases then releases oxygen back into the air, acting as a filter.
Humber’s Arboretum team, the City of Toronto, corporate sponsor H.B. Fuller and volunteers planted more than 250 trees along a pond near the college residence building facing the Humber River.