The Haliburton & District Lions Club is celebrating the Canadian centennial of the organization by funding six trees to help with erosion at Head Lake Park.

The six, mature willow trees cost $2,500 and were requested by Dysart et al park staff. The club met June 4 to dedicate the trees, with a plaque marking the club’s commitment to be installed later.

The club said the gesture contributes to their commitment to the environment.

“We were looking for something to donate that would be rather permanent,” treasurer Betty Mills said. “We also have a passion for the environment and trying to do things that maintain the environment.”

The Lions began in Canada in Windsor in 1920. Mills said the club has continued for so long because of people’s natural desire to help others.

“We tell little children in daycare centres, in kindergarten, ‘who wants to be a helper’ and they all come running,” Mills said. “We all like to help other people in some form.”

Dysart council approved the gift at its May 5 meeting. Recreation program coordinator Andrea Mueller said the trees are part of the park rehabilitation and will help secure the riverbank.

“We’ll send a letter to the Lions club and thank them,” Mayor Andrea Roberts said. “It’s really good news.”

Mills said fundraising is difficult for the club with the pandemic. They had to cancel their annual craft brewing festival and other fundraising efforts will be hampered.

“The fundraising is a huge challenge,” Mills said. “I think we’re going to end up with less to give … We can hope for a break.”

But despite the challenges, the club will still do what it can. The club also helped refurbish Abbey Garden’s Enchanted Forest children’s play area June 3.

“Even in these challenging times, we continue to meet online and carry on with our service work,” the club said in a press release.

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