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Jarry Park’s fleeting forest of recycled Christmas trees has Montrealers wishing

Click to play video 'Wishing forest comes to life in Jarry Park' Wishing forest comes to life in Jarry Park
An initiative meant to give Christmas trees a second life has blossomed into a wishing forest in Jarry Park. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports. – Jan 15, 2021

Old Christmas trees destined for the curbside have found their way to Jarry Park, creating a small forest.

Residents have been lugging their trees to the Montreal park to take part in a new temporary installation.

Called the “ephemeral forest,” the project was started by local community group Friends of Jarry Park in partnership with the borough of Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension.

Read more: Recycled as wood chips or homes for birds, your Christmas trees will get a second life

While giving trees a second life, the project also asks residents to decorate the trees with a wish on what they would like to see added to the green space.

Some of the notes already posted ask for new playground equipment for children.

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Others ask for more permanent trees and vegetation in the park.

“I find it a very nice project. It’d be nice if there were more trees,” resident Angelo Meo said.

He hopes to see a small temporary farm animal exhibit added this summer.

“A mini-farm, especially for the kids, that would be nice.”

Read more: Montreal’s St-Laurent Blvd falls victim to ‘Grinches’ as Christmas trees disappear

However, the project has blossomed into something bigger.

People have been leaving wishes for the new year, turning the space into a forest of hope.

Messages as big as “ending COVID-19” or as small as giving a hug have been left hanging on the branches.

“I didn’t know what else to do with my tree. It seems nice to give my tree a second life,” Alison Lee said.

Lee brought her small tree and said the project has found a way to bring the community together during a time of social distancing.

“I think this forest shows that the power of what happens when we come together,” Lee said.

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“Even though we have been in this for a long time and it’s cold, we can still come together and keep each other warm.”

Lee’s wish of taking a trip was a popular one, with several people craving to get on a plane.

“Well, obviously, good health, maybe a bit of travelling once that is safe,” she said.

François Vandal just hopes to see things back to normal, wishing for simpler times.

“It’s laughing, seeing comedy shows. Montreal is such a beautiful city, I think that what I miss is just going out and laughing,” Vandal said.

Read more: Farmers anticipate a record year for Christmas tree sales

Residents can bring their trees until Jan. 17.

The installation will be in place for several more days.

The borough will then have the lot of trees properly recycled.