Chelsey St. Pierre – The Suburban LJI Reporter
Eighty fruit trees will be planted in Pointe-Claire in tribute to the city's residents who died of COVID-19.It will be called the Solidarity Orchard. A plaque in memory of deceased Pointe-Claire residents will be placed at the entrance of the orchard.
Pointe-Claire mayor, John Belvedere, and members of the council unveiled the details of the solidarity orchard on June 29th on the land where the orchard will come to life located on Maywood, across the street from the aquatic center. In partnership with Mission de l'Ouest de l'Île, the harvest will be donated to Pointe-Claire families in need.
"Our program has over 100 garden beds across the West Island. This is one of the pieces in the puzzle that is in place to help fight food insecurity in the West Island," West Island Mission, Executive Director, Suzanne Scarrow, said.
The initial idea was proposed by Pointe-Claire resident Susan Weiver. "Mrs. Weiver was the one who 'planted the seed' in my mind," Belvedere said. "The project that we are unveiling today is reflective of our unity. We are unveiling the orchard that will be planted right here in this greenspace in memory of Pointe-Claire residents that we so sadly lost to the virus," Belvedere said.
Belvedere explained to The Suburban that he viewed the initiative as an opportunity to serve multi faceted goals "To commemorate residents, to enhance the urban canopy and to contribute to the efforts of local food banks."
While the trees will take a few years to bear fruit; vegetable beds will be planted in the coming weeks to allow a harvest at the end of this summer season.