Oak Bay nurtures peace trees for Lafayette Park

Mayors for Peace promotes spread of A-Bomb survivor trees

Oak Bay’s ginko seedlings – germinated from seeds of a tree that survived an atomic bomb – under heavy protection from predators.

Nurtured by parks staff, seeds of Hiroshima’s A-Bomb survivor trees grow a new hope in Oak Bay.

As a member of Mayors for Peace, Oak Bay signed on for 30 seeds from hibakujumoku, or survivor trees, to plant and grow in the community. Staff planted all 30 last fall, and 21 gingko sprung and now cluster under caged guard from unscrupulous squirrels in Oak Bay Parks’ care.

“We have had 21 germinated and they’re now growing,” said Chris Hyde-Lay, parks manager for Oak Bay. “We’ll grow them for about five years then we’re going to plant them in Lafayette Park in a grove with a plaque.”

They’ll refurbish an area of a well-used park that could use a little love and the trees will bring a little of their own peace. About 170 trees in a two-kilometre radius of the centre of the bombing are officially registered by Hiroshima as A-bombed trees. Like atomic bomb survivors themselves, the trees bear witness to the devastation wrought by nuclear weapons.

“The tree will be both a reminder of the horrors of war and a hope for the future. It will stand as a powerful symbol for peace,” said Mayor Nils Jensen.

In August 1945, atomic bombs reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, killing hundreds of thousands of people. To prevent repetition of the  tragedy, Hiroshima and Nagasaki continually tell the world about the cruelty of nuclear weapons and consistently urge that nuclear weapons be abolished. On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.

Today the Mayors for Peace member communities span 161 countries, 7,132 cities and towns – 313 of those Canadian cities.

Ginkgos are large growing to about 20 to 35 metres tall with some in China towering more than 50 metres. The tree is usually deep rooted making it resistant to wind and snow damage. In the fall, leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall. A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived. Some are believed to be more than 2,500 years old.

“They’re a tree that is also very, very slow to evolve, they’re called a fossil tree,” Hyde-Lay said.

They won’t use the females for this public park because they bear “stinky fruit” Hyde-Lay said. Other than that, “they’re a good tree.”

Visit www.mayorsforpeace.org to learn more about the organization.

 

 

Just Posted

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read