Your Roots Are Always in Chatham-Kent

Chatham-Kent' initiative celebrates the achievements of students across Chatham-Kent, graduating from secondary and post-secondary education. Each graduating class is commemorated with a tree planted in their honour along one of Chatham-Kent's 43 existing trails. 

This year,  a total of 12 trees were planted to commemorate Chatham-Kent's 2016 secondary and post-secondary graduating classes. Representatives from the Municipality of Chatham-Kent's Community Attraction & Promotion division, alongside members of council, met with staff and students, to encourage this years graduates to remain connected to Chatham-Kent. This initiative continues to be a great opportunity for our community to demonstrate support and appreciation for our young people as they move onto their next ventures.

This was the fourth year for this initiative, which was created in response to the 2012 Chatham-Kent Survey of Young People (15-39 years), conducted by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent's Community Attraction & Promotion (formerly Resident Attraction and Retention) Division. Of the survey respondents, 84% stated that they would like to remain connected to Chatham-Kent regardless of where they live and what they do in the future.

In addition to the trees being planted, this year, each student that attended the tree planting ceremony was given a seed paper ornament and were encouraged to go home, plant it and water it; from it, wild flowers will grow. Many of the students plan on bringing their wildflowers off to school with them, to serve as a daily reminder of their tree planting ceremony, as well as where they came from and the supportive community that awaits them back home.

The following table shows where each of the trees are across Chatham-Kent.


Location of Tree

 Blenheim District High School

 Blenheim B-Fit Trail, Blenheim

 Chatham Christian High School

 Mud Creek Trail, Chatham

 Chatham-Kent Secondary School

The Landings Trail, Chatham

 École secondaire de Pain Court

 Pain Court Pathway, Pain Court

 Lambton-Kent Composite School

 Dresden Trillium Trail, Dresden

 John McGregor Secondary School

 Mud Creek Trail, Chatham

 Ridgetown District High School

 TREES Memorial Trail, Ridgetown

 St. Clair College, Thames Campus

 Kingston Park Trail, Chatham

 Tilbury District High School

 Odette & Memorial Parkway, Tilbury

 University of Guelph - Ridgetown Campus

 On Campus

 Ursuline College (The Pines)

 Community Services Pathway, Chatham

 Wallaceburg District Secondary School

MacDonald Park Trail, Wallaceburg

For the first time, this year, participating students were asked whether or not they saw any value in taking part in the tree planting ceremonies. Rather than a survey, each student was asked to give a 'like' or a 'dislike' to life-size Facebook post which read as follows:

"Today our school planted a tree in honour of our graduating class. Now, we know that no matter where we go - our roots are always in Chatham-Kent and that's worth coming back for!"

The positive response was overwhelming; needless to say - they liked it!

On behalf of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, we wish to congratulate our local 2016 graduating classes!

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