Plant giveaway at Hawrelak Park honours Truth and Reconciliation Day

A plant giveaway was held at Hawrelak Park on Truth and Reconciliation Day.

There were plenty of orange shirts down at Hawrelak Park Thursday, where Edmonton’s Root for Trees initiative held a plant giveaway.

“I’m so grateful and honoured that Edmontonians are coming out to support Root for Trees, and to support Indigenous communities and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation,” Ashlyn Renner with Root for Trees said. “This is the first time we’re doing something like this with Root for Trees and I’m so happy that it turned out so well.”

Hundreds of plants were given away, with a trip to the tree nursery needed to replenish supply within the first hour.

Plants offered included a selection of wildflowers, pine trees, and shrubs such as wolf willow and snowberry. All the plants are native to Alberta, with some holding significance to our province’s Indigenous cultures.

“This is one way that Edmontonians can actually make a difference,” Renner said. “And plant their tree or wildflower as an act of reconciliation.”  

If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.