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Region waves hydrant fees for tree campaign

The region has waived hydrant fees for the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign due to a recent heat wave, which forced the campaign to use nearby hydrants to water trees. (Photo courtesy Highway of Heroes)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Regional council has agreed to waive hydrant fees for the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign.

A recent heat wave forced the campaign to use nearby hydrants to keep the trees hydrated at a site in Whitby.

The campaign intends to use the site of the former Pringle Creek Water Pollution Control Plant, at 500 Victoria Street East in Whitby, where it has planted almost 3,600 trees to educate residents about one of Canada’s most famous battles: the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

The land will be used as an education centre, and will recreate the events which took place at Vimy Ridge, where Canada won an important battle in World War I.

The goal of the campaign is to plant two million trees. For those who died in battle, 117,000 will be planted, and 1,833,000 will be planted for every Canadian who volunteered to serve.

So far during the campaign more than 700,000 trees have been planted.

However, those trees need water to survive, and during a recent heat wave, the campaign was forced to use nearby hydrants to water them.

Because of the campaign’s work remembering veterans, Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell presented a motion, seconded by Oshawa Ward 3 City and Regional Councillor Bob Chapman, to waive the hydrant fees.

“This is a great project, and it’s something that at the region we can do to both support the environment… as well as support our veterans,” says Chapman.

Chapman says for those who remember Canadian history, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is when Canada really became recognized as a country.

Ultimately, council voted in favour of waiving all fees related to the issuing of hydrant permits, and the drawing of water from hydrants required by the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign for irrigation purposes.

For those interested in learning more about the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, visit