A portion of Comox Valley Nature’s Tree of the Year contest poster
Enter your favorite tree into Comox Valley Nature’s annual contest by April 1
The deadline for nominating your favourite tree in Comox Valley Nature’s annual Tree of the Year contest is just a few weeks away. People can nominate tree before April using the organization’s online entry form.
Comox Valley Nature (CVN) holds the annual contest to identify and highlight individual trees of significant interest or importance or beauty in the Comox Valley. The goal of the contest is to foster a strong connection with nature, increase awareness of cherished local trees, and raise interest in the value and protection of trees.
Any Comox Valley resident can nominate a tree they love within the Comox Valley Regional District boundaries. To encourage everyone to vote with their feet, CVN will provide possible cycling and walking routes to visit these trees. Typically, the nomination period runs from early January until the end of March.
While our focus is on appreciating all the trees, a winning tree will be chosen by public vote. A small prize is awarded to the nominator of the Tree of the Year, and everyone benefits from learning about these beautiful specimens.
The CVN website suggests that when nominating a tree, a person should consider “their personal attraction to the tree. Is it beautiful or eye-catching? Is it ecologically or economically important? Does it have a unique history, or is it of cultural significance? Whatever your reason for choosing to nominate a particular tree, we invite you to share its story with us!”
HISTORY OF THE CONTEST
The concept began in the Czech Republic over 20 years ago and evolved into the European Tree of the Year Award, organized by the Environmental Partnership Association. It has since spread to several countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany and Slovakia. The presentation ceremony takes place annually around March 21 which is the International Day of Forests.
CVN’s contest was started through the initiative of member Cathy Storey, with the first set of nominations solicited in 2017 and the first winner announced in early 2018. To the best of our knowledge, our contest is unique in North America.
Cathy passed away in December 2020, but her legacy is carrying on. Our 2021 contest is designated in her honour, and a memento in the form of a painting with a tree theme is being created. In addition to a gift basket, the winner of each year’s contest will have the privilege of enjoying the painting in their home for a year.
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