Heritage trees can be found at locations throughout our city.
Cataloguing Lethbridge’s heritage trees, local certified arborist Maureen Sexsmith-West is a champion for these trees in our community that deserve not only great care, but also to be showcased as important landmarks.
“The province has funded a variety of initiatives [to catalogue heritage trees in Alberta] over the years, one of them being the Alberta Trees of Renown project. They published a booklet, but that program ended years ago,” explains Maureen. “In 2006 the Heritage Tree Foundation was struck and continued to add to that list of trees.” However, only 600 of the 900 area nominations met the eligible criteria and were added to the list.
The Federation of Alberta naturalists published the book Heritage Trees of Alberta in 2008, but soon after the book was published that program was ended as well.
As a result, communities such as Medicine Hat and Calgary have continued to catalogue and map their own trees, and that’s also what Maureen’s doing with heritage trees in Lethbridge through her Heritage Tree Tour–Lethbridge Google mapping project.
Maureen’s initiative is the first comprehensive project specific to our City’s heritage trees. “Using the same concept that communities like the City of Surrey in B.C. use, we hope to bring more people together and grow the list of our own heritage trees,” says Maureen. “I want to continue to build on it by adding more information, photographs, up-to-date measurements, and personal stories about these [trees] and other in the community.
To check out Maureen’s Heritage Tree Tour click here.
To learn more about heritage trees in Lethbridge check out our January/February issue.
In this image, and homepage image: a number of Lethbridge’s heritage trees can be found at Henderson Lake Park and Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.