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The Madzo Family

The Madzo family lives in Bismark in the centre of the Niagara Peninsula where 88 year-old Louie Sr. works the farm with his son, Louie Jr. Their land includes 10 acres of mixed hardwoods which they actively manage and, when he retired in 1993, Louie Sr. began adding white pine for extra diversity.

He cleared shrubbery in the woods by hand, using pick axe and shovel, and then planted seedlings obtained from the 1st Provincial Nursery in St. Williams. With approximately 500 planted each year, the family is very proud of the 3,000 pine which now stand 40 feet tall in their woods. Louie Sr. says “They have added a wonderful diversity to the woodlot, in both summer and winter.”

In 2005, with the help of Trees Unlimited and the Niagara Woodlands Restoration Fund, 5,490 bare root seedlings were machine planted on 6.1 acres adjacent to the hardwoods, adding additional diversity and almost doubling the total acreage of the family’s forest.

In 2013, the Madzo’s were awarded the Niagara Woodlot Association’s “Woodlot Owner of the Year” award.

One of Louie Sr.’s favourite sayings is: “Plant a tree today and retire in the shade!”

Member Profile

  • Ruth Tracy, Limestone Chapter
    Ruth Tracy, Limestone Chapter

    Ruth Tracy’s appreciation of trees began as she grew up on a farm in northern Ontario. As an adult, she purchased a property in 1976, which had old farm fields and an existing hardwood stand. Under the Woodlands Improvement Act, she had over 12,000 conifers planted—now her entire property is wooded except for the site of the house that she designed for her retirement.

    While working as a college teacher, a co-worker invited Ruth to join the OWA. She has been a member for over 20 years and serves on her Chapter board.

    Education has always been a priority for Ruth; membership in the OWA means she will continue to learn even into her retirement. She has given a niece an OWA membership as a gift to ensure the next generation will continue on with her tradition.

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