UXBRIDGE: Council is hoping to be able to plant special ‘Vimy Oaks’ at sites in the Township.
At a meeting on Monday, May 1, council approved a motion made by Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor to apply to purchase 15 of the special oak trees and to have Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger and Ward 3 Councillor Dave Barton work with the museum curator and township staff to decide possible locations for the trees.
The idea of purchasing these trees was brought up by Councillor Barton. He told council the story about how, after the battle was fought, Canadian soldier Leslie Miller found some acorns and had them sent to his family farm in Scarborough. They were planted there and oak trees sprouted up.
“Now, with the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, those acorns have turned into full size oak trees and they’ve created offspring out of those and are selling Vimy Oaks,” Councillor Barton said, adding that the trees are $125 each.
According to the Vimy Oaks Legacy group’s website, these “oak saplings will be offered for sale early in 2017 to organizations that are committed to planting them at commemorative sites such as cenotaphs, town squares, memorial sites and parks, heritage sites, schools, military cemeteries and sites, Royal Canadian Legions, public locations associated with World War One and at sites that communicate messages of universal values and peace.” The township will fund the possible purchase through the parks and recreation budget.
Councillor Ballinger explained the process of purchasing the trees.
“You don’t just get these trees. You have to fill out a form and you have to put the reason in and where you are going to plant them. So there’s a little bit of work to this, but I agree with Councillor Barton, I’m in favour of this,” he said.
Multiple locations were discussed, including Veterans Memorial Park, Elgin Park, and the Uxbridge-Scott museum grounds. However, council decided to have councillors Barton and Ballinger work with staff on the application.