Number 25 for Charlie’s Trees project

Par Raymond Berthiaume
Number 25 for Charlie’s Trees project
Charlie's Trees

“My grandmother always told me that ever since she was a girl, she’s always liked trees,” said the nine-year-old treeplanter.

“He came up with the idea of planting trees all over Vankleek Hill,” said Susie Fairbrother, Charlie Kazak’s grandmother, with a smile. “I’m a big advocate of planting trees, myself.”

Three years ago, Charlie first proposed his idea in a competition sponsored by the Review newspaper on how to make Vankleek Hill better. Then he set out, with the help of his grandmother, to make his idea a reality.

Now three years later, tree number 25, a lilac, was planted adjacent to Dr. Joanne Robert’s clinic located next to Mill Street Park. The treeplanting was part of the ceremonial end of the Charlie’s Tree Parade celebration during the May Day Festival in Vankleek Hill.

During the past three years, Charlie, with the help of his grandmother and others, has overseen the planting of more than two dozen trees, either conifer or deciduous, around the village. The trees include white pine, sugar maple, spruce, and weeping willow.

Potential sites are scouted out and either the municipality or the landowner contacted for permission to plant a tree. It is a rare thing when Charlie is refused, and the common reason is that the site owner does not think the location is quite suitable.

With tree 25 planted, Charlie is already thinking ahead to the next location for one of his trees.

 “I want to eventually plant 200 trees, or more,” he said, adding that his own personal career goals include: becoming a professional treeplanter, becoming a writer, and working as a detective.

“Our goal is to help the Main Street area become more green,” said Susie Fairbrother. “It all helps make Vankleek Hill greener, one tree at a time.”

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