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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Early Summer 2017 > PLANT A TREE GROW A FOREST


Get your shovel ready! We challenge every cottager in Canada to plant a native tree to celebrate our country’s birthday. It’s one small action that will last for generations


When you put a tree in the ground, you grow more than just a little greenery

Time is a funny thing. When I was a kid, anything that happened before I was born seemed to be from another century, in a category called The Past, which held not only world wars and former prime ministers, but also weird old hats from the ‘50s in the cottage closets and obsolete items in the shed, such as the two-man crosscut saw, the corrugated glass washboard, and the rusted-out tobacco tins.

Certainly, the 1967 Centennial, about which the grown-ups sometimes reminisced, seemed unreachable—perhaps because it took place more than 10 years (imagine!) before I was born or perhaps because it was an event that itself looked back even further into the past.

Maybe that’s what gave the map such appeal. Growing up, we would occasionally pull out of a drawer in the dining room a hand-drawn map that showed our cottage and the clearing nearby. Like any good treasure map, it was a link to another place or time, in this case, that summer in ‘67 when Canadians were encouraged to take on a Centennial project. My grandparents wanted to do something and decided that their project would entail, over that summer, planting 100 trees at the cottage. They recorded each tree that went in the ground on the map— sometimes with the name of the family member or cottage guest who had planted it, sometimes just with an X—and noted the tree species. Many of those people, including my grandparents, are no longer living, but in each case they have a tree that lives on, recalling the day that it was placed in its new home.

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About Cottage Life

Going North! Cottage Life toasts Canada’s 150th birthday, with an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on what the cottage means to him, Canuck-inspired party recipes (beer and back bacon poutine, anyone?), and essential flag etiquette. The issue also includes workshop intel every Canadian should have, renowned Canadian writers and photographers sharing their views on our country from the cottage, a peek into our national official cottage, Harrington Lake, and why now is the time to plant a tree at the lake. PLUS, meet an American who, after a lifetime cottaging in Canada, has a thing or two to teach us about summers at the lake. Don’t miss this one-stop guide to celebrating Canada at the cottage.