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Trees for Guelph teams up with Catholic school board for plantings

Pandemic put plantings on hold, but they've now returned

Tree plantings are set for Catholic school properties throughout the city, thanks to a coordinated effort between Trees for Guelph the school board.

Nearly 750 students from various schools have or will take part in the fall initiative, which features a variety of trees, shrubs and wildflowers donated by Trees for Guelph, 

“The overall idea is to re-think what school grounds look like, to create space for insects, birds, and animals, and allow nature to teach lessons to students,” said Peter Glaab, a healthy active living resource teacher with the Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB), in a news release.

“When we were forced to rethink how our schools would operate around the pandemic, our spring planting season was cancelled since students were learning remotely in 2020 and again in 2021. We decided to push for a fall planting session last year as a response to the number of COVID-learned experiences everyone appreciated about the outdoors.”

Among the participating schools are St. Michael Catholic School, St. Peter Catholic School, Holy Trinity Catholic School, St. Patrick Catholic School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School and Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School.

“Before COVID we would typically plant between 150-250 plants – trees, shrubs and wildflowers, but these days we are happy to get between 130-190 plants in the ground,” said Trees for Guelph coordinator Moritz Sanio in the release.

“Today (Nov. 1) at Bishop Mac we planted 75 wildflowers and 110 trees and shrubs. It was a great day and the little rain we received was hardly noticed,” shared Sanio. “It was so appreciated by everyone and I think it was one of the best plantings in recent memory.”

With fall plantings wrapping up, officials hope to continue the effort in the spring.

Trees for Guelph was founded by retired WCDSB teacher Anne Holman, who remains on the not-for-profit group’s board of directors, the news release states, explaining the idea stemmed from Holman’s efforts to coordinate tree plantings between the city’s three Catholic high schools.

For more information about Trees for Guelph, visit