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Arbour Day Grows Environmental Awareness in Grade One Students

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Sussex N.B. – Seventy-six grade one students from Sussex Elementary School were digging into their lessons on Friday morning to celebrate Arbour Day.  The children from the four grade one classes taught by Mrs. Drury, Ms. Goss, Mrs. Hughson, and Miss Morris helped plant three hardwood trees on the school grounds at 25 Duke Street.

Each year a different school is chosen for the annual Arbour Day event, which promotes the beauty and environmental benefits of trees in our community.

This year’s event is sponsored by the Town of Sussex, J.D. Irving, Limited, and Anglophone South School District.  “This is the eighth year of our partnership with JDI and school communities within our District,” said Zoë Watson, Superintendent of Anglophone South School District. “Arbour Day provides a wonderful opportunity to nurture an awareness of the importance of trees and the environment in our community.  It plants the seed, if you will, that will grow their environmental consciousness.” 

“Partnerships like this one, between J.D. Irving, Limited, District 8, and the Town of Sussex demonstrate our community’s vision of a shared commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne.

JDI has been a major employer in the Sussex area for over 45 years with significant forestry-related operations including a sawmill,  a tree nursery, woodlands operations, a nearby seed orchard, and now a new world-class tree improvement research lab which will be under construction this summer.   “It was a great opportunity to talk to the students about the importance of growing healthy trees,” said Shona Millican, tree improvement forester at JDI.  “We gave each student a 10-inch white spruce seedling that was grown from seed at our Sussex Nursery.  They’re excited about planting this weekend, and were amazed when I told them that we have 170 tree planters who each plant 2500 seedlings a day throughout the summer.”  

Grade one students across the Anglophone South School District spent some class time this week learning about the value of planting trees.  A total of 1761 seed cards were distributed to all grade one students in the Anglophone South School District.

The three hardwood maple trees planted at the Sussex Elementary School ceremony, the white spruce seedlings, and the seed cards were all donated by J.D. Irving, Limited.

About JDI and Sussex
JDI has been part of the forest business for over 130 years, and tree planting has been a way of life since 1957.  Over 940 million seedlings have been planted since that time – a national record in Canada.  In the Sussex area, trees sustain over 550 direct and indirect jobs at the local sawmill, woodlands office, and tree nursery.  These jobs represent over $60 million in wages and payments each year to local contractors, generating an estimated $12 million in tax revenue.  Most recently JDI announced the construction of a new tree improvement laboratory in Sussex that will supply natural budworm-resistant solutions through first patents in Canada, the US, Australia, Europe, and Russia.  Construction will begin this summer using the services of several non-Irving companies in New Brunswick.