At a recent Rotary meeting, our club member Bill Stevens (a Rotarian for almost 50 years) reminded us about The Rotary Grove at Guelph's Arboretum. It's a collection of over 130 trees comprising 33 varieties, chosen primarily for aesthetic reasons. Planted in five Avenues of Service, it is well worth taking a walk in the park!
 
This grove was established in 1980 to commemorate Rotary International’s 75th Anniversary and the Rotary Club of Guelph’s 60th Anniversary. 
 
It used to be an annual event for RCOG club members to visit the grove and provide maintenence by cutting grass, removing weeds and debris. Jim Anderson was the lead and funds were budgeted in the Environment Committee each year. Funds were paid to the University of Guelph for annual maintenance.
 
The purpose of the Rotary Grove collection is to display tree species used for urban planting. Trees play a vital role in the urban environment where all too often the reality is asphalt and concrete. The most important benefit provided by trees (other than their beauty) is climate moderation. Trees reduce wind speed and cool the air by transpiring water from their leaves. Trees prevent dark surfaces (asphalt and rooftops) from storing heat in the summer. Trees also shield us from UV sunlight. A large tree can provide the cooling equivalent of five room size air conditioners. Up to 25% of your property’s value is related to trees.
 
Rotary Tree Grove, named after Roy Hammond

Roy was a life-long resident of Guelph, Ontario, and one of its most active, vocal and involved citizens. As one of the founders of Hammond Manufacturing, he worked tirelessly to make the company a success. In his long, productive life, he led by example with an ethic of hard work and stewardship. He was a strong moral presence in everything he did. He was a generous contributor as well as an enthusiastic fund-raiser for many charities and organizations. In retirement, he continued active involvement into his nineties with the Rotary Club of Guelph, the Guelph-Wellington Men's Club and The Arboretum, University of Guelph. Roy passed away on June 3, 1999, in his 92nd year.

The layout map of this grove reveals Rotary names such as:

  • Paul Harris Circle
  • W.D. Wood Circle
  • Avenue of Club Service
  • Avenue of International Service
  • Avenue of Community Service
  • Avenue of Vocational Service
  • Friendship Place