A neighbourhood group wanting to raise awareness about the lack of tree canopy in Grimsby raised more than $3,300 by selling handmade bird and bee houses on Good Friday.
The sale was advertised to start at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 15, but customers had already showed up to buy the houses at 8:30 a.m. All 60 bird houses and seven bee houses were sold out by 11:10 a.m.
The organizers plan to use the money raised to purchase and plant native trees in the area. They want to start by planting trees on private land later in the year, and hope to partner with town council to create a plan to plant trees on private and public lands in Grimsby Beach.
The group aims to raise awareness about the about the lack of tree cover in Grimsby. A 2011 study by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority found that Grimsby had a forest cover of 13.5 per cent.
In comparison, Toronto had a tree canopy cover of 28.5 per cent as of 2018, according to a 2021 study published on the City of Toronto’s website. That figure had increased 1.8 per cent since 2008.
Kate Sharrow, who is part of the neighbourhood initiative and helped plan the sale, said the group aims to protect Grimsby’s tree cover.
“We’re trying to utilize the love of Grimsby to try and protect it from some redevelopment and losing our cottage community that’s covered in trees,” she explained.
The group first organized a bird and bee house sale last year and sold out in two days and raised $1,200. So, they decided to run the sale again in 2022.
All the bird and bee houses are handmade by the group. Lumber is donated, paint and other materials are donated, and volunteers have been constructing the houses since last year.
Sharrow was pleased with the turnout for the sale and said that it demonstrated how much people care about protecting nature.
“For it to sell out in that short time, I think that it shows that other people care about trees too,” she said. “It’s not about Grimsby Beach, I think people buy into the fact that we should protect our canopy and we should be replenishing and protecting what we have.
“So, I think we’ll sell out faster next year!”
Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News