Stratford-Perth

Geoff Love, Marianne Van Den Heuvel, Jane Eligh-Feryn
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“Change starts with individuals. We were fortunate enough to find a group of like-minded individuals who want to do something to preserve the rich heritage that Stratford-Perth has to offer.”

Marianne Van Den Heuvel, Tree Trust coordinator

About Stratford-Perth Tree Trust

We work with local certified arborists at Tim’s Tree Care to provide life-extending care to middle-aged and older trees in Stratford-Perth. These trees are on public (e.g. schools and churches), commercial and private properties.

We launched Stratford-Perth Tree Trust with a local event in September 2020 by repairing two beautiful 100+-year-old Maples at the Falstaff Family Centre in partnership with Loreena McKennitt. We also repaired an old Maple at St. James Anglican Church last fall and plan to repair two large Sugar Maples at the Stratford Perth Museum in 2022. If you are a business or an organization that would like to partner with us, please send us a message and we would love to chat.

Our Autumn 2022 Tree Trust Tree, a Sugar Maple on the grounds of the Stratford Perth Museum

There are a number of mature trees that run along the west property line – a standout, growing by the museum’s sign, is a grand Sugar Maple.

As a museum, there are impeccable records about the history of the site. While no specific mention was made as to when the Maple was planted, it has no doubt witnessed the lives of many generations:

In 1869, when Thomas Holliday purchased the farm just outside of Stratford on Concession 1, Lot 7, only a small 25-year-old log cabin existed on the property. Fire soon demolished the log cabin and Holliday quickly rebuilt with the large yellow brick Italianate farmhouse which now houses the Stratford Perth Museum.

Here, on what became known as Woodview Farm, Thomas and his wife Mary Ann raised their ten children. A prominent member of the community, Thomas Sr. was involved in the Stratford Gas Company, the Waterworks Commission and the Dam Syndicate. In 1912, the farm was passed on to Thomas and Mary’s second son Edward Holliday.

In 1946 Woodview Farm was sold to Wesley Thurston who kept horses, and the farm buildings were expanded to include an indoor jumping ring. One of his horses, Brown Jug, won the Governor General’s Cup at the 1941 Canadian National Exhibition.

In 1969 Wesley’s daughter and son-in-law took ownership of the land, where they continued to keep horses and planted many of the trees that now flourish on the property.

The property was passed along to several owners over the years, until it was bought by the Stratford-Perth Museum Association in 2007.

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Meet our Chapter coordinators

Photo credits: Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

Geoff Love (left) is an environmentalist who has worked as a waste diversion and climate change consultant across Canada and internationally for over 35 years. He is president of Love Environment, a small, specialized Canadian environmental consulting company.

Marianne Van Den Heuvel (middle) is a lifelong resident of Perth County, and has enjoyed long and rewarding relationships with trees. She was educated in Resource Management and has extensive experience in evaluating forest soils (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) and conservation techniques (Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs).
 
Jane Eligh-Feryn (right) has a master’s in Landscape Architecture and has worked as an environmental planner in the private sector and a park planner for Metropolitan Toronto. She currently owns Eligh-Feryn Landscape Planning and Design in Stratford.

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