Pointe-Claire inaugurates a commemorative orchard in honor of local victims of COVID-19

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The city of Pointe-Claire has inaugurated an orchard that will serve as a memorial to victims of COVID-19 and a garden that will provide food to people in need.

Susan Weaver, a resident of the West Island Municipality, came up with the idea for the project in March.

At a council meeting, she suggested planting trees around town in honor of community members who have died from the virus.

Weaver told CBC that some of his neighbors have died from COVID-19.

“A lot of them were old people,” she said. “They built our community.

She added that many “people haven’t had a chance to say goodbye during COVID,” and said creating a memorial will help bring the community together.

Following his suggestion, the city decided to create an orchard and a garden.

“The time has come,” said John Belvedere, mayor of Pointe-Claire. “It has been a difficult two years for our citizens, and not just for our citizens, but for all those whose families have had to suffer the loss of someone to COVID.”

The orchard will include 80 trees – apple, plum and pear trees – which will be planted in September near the Viburnum entrance to Terra-Cotta Natural Park.

A plaque honoring the victims will also be installed and a vegetable garden has already been planted.

West Island Mission, a non-profit organization, will use produce from the garden and orchard to help families in need. (Jean-Claude Taliana / CBC)

City partners with local food bank

Mission Ouest-de-l’Île is a local food bank that draws many of its fruits and vegetables from the gardens of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

When the mission contacted Pointe-Claire to do something similar, plans for a memorial orchard were already taking shape.

“Our hope is that the plums, apples and pears that are planted will come and just complement the vegetables we already provide,” said Suzanne Scarrow, General Manager of West Island Mission.

“Some of these fruits, we can process and can them or can them or freeze them.”

It should take a few years for the trees to start bearing fruit.



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