17th annual Memorial Forest dedication held at Island Lake

September 16, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The seventeenth annual Dods & McNair Memorial Forest Dedication Service took place at Island Lake Conservation area on Sunday, September 8.

Trees are planted annually in the memorial forest located at the south side of the Conservation area. There are trails leading through the forested area as well as a memorial plaque.

Around 1,400 people arrived for the ceremony to remember friends and family member who have passed on since last September.

“Every year we do this,” explained Terry Gauthier from Dods & McNair. “Every year we plant a tree of memory for each individual family. Every family that we serve yearly, we a have a tree planted in memory of every one of those people.”

The Memorial Forest has created a living memorial where families can visit and walk along the trails.

“The tree line is about eight acres with our own trail system,” Mr. Gauthier explained. “It’s called the Dods & McNair Memorial trail. We have bird houses, benches, and butterfly bushes. We do a big service every year where we have different clergy and members of the community speak and special music. 

“The family members take part when we do the act of dedication for the planting of the tree. People can say their loved one’s name aloud during the act of dedication. It’s a time for everyone to come together in our community and be together and grieve together and know there is a whole community here for them.”

Over the years the forest has grown to include 4,766 trees that have been planted since 2002. 

The Memorial Forest is maintained by the Credit Valley Conservation Area. 

“We take great pride in this and so does the Credit Valley Conservation Area,” Mr. Gauthier said. 

He added, “We have more land available to us. We fund it financially and maintain it with the CVCA. It’s one thing we do as giving back to the community.

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