Jul 28, 2023
Thought Question: What can we do to help nature recover after wildfires and other natural disasters?
Over 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) of Canadian forests, prairies, and parklands have been ravaged by wildfires this summer. This is more than any other year in recorded history. As the blazes continue eastward they leave behind lifeless, burnt terrain. Yet there is hope for regrowth and renewal. That is thanks to Canada’s dedicated teams of tree planters.
For the past three years, college student Leslie Dart has spent her summers planting trees across Canada. She does this in the wake of wildfires and in places where logging and timber companies have harvested wood. Though she told The Canada Press the work is “incredibly rewarding,” she also understands its difficulties.
“It could start the day off sunny and then minutes later, it will just be raining, torrential downpours, hailing, or snowing. You never know what to expect,” she said. “There were some days that we were planting through a heat wave, so we had like 37-to-40-degree (Celsius; 98-104 degrees Fahrenheit) weather for several days straight and that was really difficult.”
Dart has planted 372,290 trees in three years. She sometimes plants more than 5,000 a day. On a 5,415-tree day last year, she recorded a TikTok of her process. Her spade-shoving, seed-slinging video went viral with 8.7 million views.
Dart isn’t alone, either. The British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Forests estimates that 1.7 billion trees have been planted in their province alone since 2017. BC has lost 12,900 square kilometers of woodland to wildfires already this year. Because of this, they’re leaning on planters like Dart to help with the recovery.
Photo from Public Domain courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The Magic of Mangroves Secondary Lesson Plan
This resource about the importance of mangrove forests includes a lesson plan, teacher slides, extension activities, and a wealth of additional links and resources.
The Magic of Mangroves Elementary Lesson Plan
This resource about the importance of mangrove forests includes a lesson plan, teacher slides, extension activities, infographics, and additional materials.
Debate Land Use in Brazil
In this activity, students will work in groups to debate one of three climate change issues in Brazil: niobium mining, creating natural preserves, or using deforested land for agriculture.