a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Jul, 2018

Tree planting along the SJAM Parkway

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

Earlier this summer I promised myself to take my physical fitness up a notch. We have a gym membership, but it’s so nice outside I thought I’d work a little harder and walk a little more. I like to walk, and it’s easy enough to do. Well, I’m happy to report that I am now embracing (!) a 5K powerwalk (almost) every day. It was hard at first, but once I got over the hump it became a little easier each time I went out. You know what else makes a long hot walk a bit more bearable? Having something to focus on other than the heat, fatigue, sore feet etc. etc…

I used to listen to music on my walks and although I really enjoyed it at first, my playlists got old really quick so I made the move to podcasts. I was never really a “podcast person” before this. Yes, I was one of the millions of people who were addicted to Serial, and I listen to the occasional podcast in the car, but I just didn’t have the time or place to listen to them… until now. I am A WOMAN TRANSFORMED. And I’m so pleased. I don’t know what I’m looking forward to the most as I lace up my runners: a great walk, or a new podcast. I’m active! I’m learning! I’m laughing (sometimes)! I am Expanding My Horizons! Honestly, it’s great. (If you are a podcast person and are looking for recommendations, follow my #powerwalkpodcast hashtag on Twitter. Also, tell me about your favourite podcasts because I WANT MORE PODCASTS.)

But this is all besides the point because I ACTUALLY wanted to write about a few new trees I spotted along the Parkway during my walk the other day, not about podcasts.

The trees in question are on the shared path closest to the river along the Sir John A. Parkway, just east of Woodroffe Avenue. The first time I saw them was during a bike ride a few weeks ago. I whipped past them without much thought other than “hey, new trees” but since I was on foot this time I stopped for a closer look.

These are very very small oak trees. This one came up to my chest:

The NCC oaks

The NCC oaks

This one is a bit taller:

The NCC oaks

Oak trees are long-lived, which is great, but they are notoriously slow growers and take decades to mature. So why not plant oaks that are a bit more than just sticks with leaves on top of it? Planting an older tree would also help ensure its survival in a city that’s known for its weather extremes. (In fact, we’ve been going through one right now. I sure hope those trees are being watered.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so ungrateful. Here we are, after all, in a city where trees get planted. So perhaps we should be happy with what we get? As I walked homeward along the path today, I was grateful for every single tree along it. They felt like a shield protecting me from the hot sun (and believe me, it was burrrrrning today), and the sidewalk was that much cooler as well. Yay for trees!

p.s. Speaking of the health of our planet (!), take a look at my latest blog post over at the terra20 website. I’ve got some tips/tricks/product recommendations that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use at home.


2 Responses to "Tree planting along the SJAM Parkway"

1 | Jacquelyn

July 12th, 2018 at 9:14 am


Some of my favourite podcasts: Tim Ferriss Show, Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell, StartUp by Gimlet, Ask a Manager by Allison Green, 99% Invisible by Roman Mars, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – weekly NPR News Quiz,

2 | andrea tomkins

July 12th, 2018 at 10:21 am


Great suggestions! Thank you!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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