WAVERLEY: Shelby Baxter wanted to do something different for Earth Day in 2018—and so she did her homework and did just that.

Baxter, a third year Pathfinder with the 1st Canal Pathfinders, organized a tree planting ceremony, held appropriately on Earth Day April 22 at McDonald Sports Park in Waverley. Liberal MLA Bill Horne and Councillor Steve Streatch were among the approximately 35 people in attendance for the event, which included games from Party Patrol Events Company following the tree planting.

She explained why she wanted to plant the two trees at the entrance to the Sports Park, just behind a sign welcoming people to the well-used park. The Sports Park is is maintained by the volunteer-based Waverley Amateur Athletic Association (WAAA). In the past, the Girl Guides and Pathfinders have done litter cleanups.

Baxter wanted to go further this year.

“We need to plant new trees, create new life and make the earth a better place,” said Baxter, a Lockview High student. “We have to start a new rather than just pick up the old.”

Baxter said the group had a couple of idea, but when it came to Earth Day they knew planting the trees was the right thing to do.

“There was a lot more we could do this,” she said. “We wanted to do something different. No one really does an Earth Day event, so we wanted to do this.”

She had never planted a tree before, but thought it was pretty cool to do. Baxter, along with McDonald Sports Park chairman Tim Carroll and Councillor Steve Streatch, planted the park’s two new trees—a sugar maple and a red oak.

“This has been a lot of fun to do,” she said. “Picking up the tree was just putting something into the earth that’s hopefully going to be here for the next 100 years or so.”

It wasn’t easy work to get to the tree planting point—there was a lot of paperwork involved. She had support from TD Friends of the Environment. It is also part of her Canada Cord badge for Pathfinders—the highest award one can get in the group. It’s so much work that it can count as a high school credit.

“Being able to see all the hard work that I have put into this, and what it’s going to become,” she said. “All these people that turned out for the event I didn’t think we’d get this many.”

Baxter said she’s moving up to Rangers for next year, and is already thinking of what else she can do.

“There will be whole new projects and stuff to do,” she said. “Maybe I’ll do something more for the earth.”