Saturday, December 4, 2021

Local Artists Band Together to Save Trees

Trees. Tall, majestic, swaying in the wind. Young, budding, reaching towards the sunlight. Old, faltering, decomposing so new life will thrive. Trees clean the air around us, absorb harmful pollutants and release clean oxygen. Healthy strong trees can offset carbon, reducing the effects of climate change. Trees have always played a role in our existence. They provide protection and a healing connection to our spirituality.

When Michael O’Connell and Sue Johnson realized that the forest of trees next to David Johnson Park on the waterfront was in danger of complete removal as part of the proposed SkyDev development, they started talking and organizing. And counting. They counted the trees in the ‘Fuller Forest’, one by one to a total of 608. Along with Karri North, Dorothy Embacher, and Anne Boody Horwood, they formed ‘608’, a grassroots organization of artists and concerned Meafordites to launch an interactive exhibit of art, music, and poetry to call attention to the plight of these trees.

Climate change efforts have to be grassroots efforts. We cannot leave it to world leaders to solve these problems,” said artist and author Anne Boody Horwood. “This is an opportunity for the community to come together to protect this natural resource.” And come together they did. More than 25 local artists have contributed their work to a free exhibit to be held at the Meaford Library. “This is an organic community response from local artists,” said Sue Johnson. “People have been very inspired.”

608 will be a multi-media presentation featuring paintings, sculpture, collage, fabric art, tapestry, and photography, as well as music and poetry. There will even be a soundscape from the forest itself. The exhibit will be interactive, for all ages. It is a celebration of trees across Meaford and the globe, an acknowledgement of the importance of trees in controlling climate change, and a plea to save this local forest. The organizers invite everyone to see the work of these talented local artists. For more information, contact


Meaford Public Library,

Friday, November 26, from 3 – 5 p.m.

Saturday , November 27 from 10 – 4 p.m.

(Covid protocols in effect, vaccination certificates required.)

Submitted By Beth Ryan Aitken

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