On Friday September 21, the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau were hit by a series of tornadoes. Our neighbourhood of Arlington Woods was one of the areas most affected by the storm's impact.
The community of Arlington Woods has come to be defined by our majestic white pines - magnificent trees that provided a green canopy to our homes and parks. The storm's winds were so severe that the vast majority of these trees were uprooted or snapped in half, and caused significant damage as they fell. Our neighborhood has been devastated, not only because of the damage to our homes, but because these beautiful trees are now gone. It took over a generation for the white pines to grow, and it will take another generation for them to return.
But even through the strain of the past few days, we've witnessed the amazing community spirit of neighbours helping neighbours. A small army of volunteers - mainly from our community but more and more from outside - have been spending long days and nights cutting and clearing away fallen trees, attending to distressed residents, serving meals, and lending a helping hand to neighbours who are simply overwhelmed. Just like the white pines that we've lost, we're strong, we're proud, and we're standing tall.
On behalf of the Trend Arlington Community Association (TACA), which serves the communities of Trend Village and Arlington Woods, this $25,000 fundraising campaign has several goals, both short-term and long-term:
We want to have a interim relief fund, in order to assist with some immediate needs, especially when insurance or provincial relief might take a while. This might be providing meals to people who's homes are too damaged for them to cook for themselves, gas for the volunteer chainsaw teams, snacks and supplies for our volunteers. Campaign target: $5,000.
We want to commission a memorial to document the 2018 tornado, its impact on our community, and the community spirit that will get us through this. We've all been through a once-in-a-lifetime ordeal, it's now a part of our history, and it would be special to leave a legacy. Ideally, this memorial will come from the photographic records collected by our community, and will incorporate the lumber of our fallen trees. Campaign target: $5,000.
We want to make our community's lives a little easier over the next several months. The Trend Arlington Community Association hosts and manages a wide series of events and programs year-round like our bi-annual community clean-ups, our Winter Carnival, our ice rink, and many other gatherings. We always do it on a shoe-string budget, and we usually have to fundraise to make it happen. It would be amazing to make these events and programs a little more special this year, and without the pressure to fundraise. Campaign taget: $5,000.
And finally, we need to re-plant the trees that we lost, in a way that serves and protects the next generation of residents: our kids. A local resident has already ordered hundreds of white pine saplings. As we launch this plan, we aim to do so in partnership with the City of Ottawa so that they're re-planed in a safe and sustainable manner. Campaign target: $10,000.
Thanks for your support. If anyone is interested in volunteering for our community association, or has other ideas for how to help support our community, please email Trend Arlington Community Association president Sean Devine.