Carolinian Canada’s annual Pawpaw Parade delivers pawpaw trees to 23 communities in southwestern Ontario
October 31, 2023 – October is Pawpaw month for Carolinian Canada as they partner with over 25 organizations and groups across the Carolinian Zone to host its annual Pawpaw Parade.
Carolinian Canada’s Pawpaw Parade brings together many groups across southwestern Ontario to help re-establish the rare, native pawpaw tree in the spirit and practice of reconciliation. This year, the Pawpaw Parade distributed over 500 pawpaw trees in 23 communities.
Giving pawpaws to Indigenous communities is a vital part of the Pawpaw Parade as a step toward reconciliation and an act of reciprocity to the original stewards of the land. Sam Whiteye, the Indigenous Leadership Director with Carolinian Canada, gifted pawpaw trees to 5 Indigenous groups to be distributed, planted, and celebrated in First Nations communities.
Twenty host organizations gathered in London, Ontario recently to kick off the parade, sharing stories about the pawpaw and native biodiversity and collecting pawpaw trees and native plant garden kits to bring back to their own communities.
“Our club is honored to be a part of such an amazing program that brings excitement and joy to the community,” said Lindsay Currie, Owner and Operator of The Green Herons, an outdoor education and nature programming group. “Our youth have loved being involved in delivering these special trees. This program has also given us the knowledge to start our own pawpaws from seed this year and continue to grow this great fall tradition that Carolinian Canada has begun.”
Each year, the impact of the Pawpaw Parade grows as more groups join to celebrate returning this native tree to the land, build and foster local partnerships for biodiversity, and bring communities together in a shared love of nature.
“The annual Pawpaw Parade helps reintroduce these rare trees to the landscape where they will provide habitat and food for various species,” said Jennifer Nantais, Program Specialist with Carolinian Canada. “The dense foliage and fruit of this forest tree attracts insects, birds, and small mammals, supporting and enhancing local ecosystems. Our event celebrates this iconic species, but the pawpaw acts as an ambassador for all native plants that sustain the unique Carolinian Zone region. Planting even one native plant can help fight biodiversity loss and heal the land.”
If you are interested in becoming a host for next year’s Great Pawpaw Parade and other potential opportunities, you can apply on our website: www.caroliniancanada.ca/pawpaw/host