press release

Forests of Hope – New Program

Forest of Hope: CASP and Partners Launch New Program 

New partnership aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention and healing, while managing a sustainable forest ecosystem.

BEACHBURG, ON, Thursday, October 20, 2022 – The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) is hosting a tree planting event for their inaugural Forest of Hope, a first for Canada, in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Pembroke, Algonquin College and the Ontario Woodlot Association.  

The tree planting commences a new long-term program by CASP and their partners to help raise awareness about suicide prevention and promote healing while contributing to a healthy and sustainable forest. The first phase of this project will see staff, students, and volunteers plant 1,500 white spruce seedlings in the understory of current forested land as prescribed in the property’s Forest Management Plan. The tree planting will take place on Kiwanis Forest property near Beachburg, Ontario on Saturday, October 22, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  

“When you become a CASP member, we will plant a seedling in honour of a loved one or simply in the name of hope,” explains Sean Krausert, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. “Once a year, all new-member trees will be planted in a specific area of the forest by volunteers who understand the importance of instilling hope in everyone.”  

Director on the Board of the Kiwanis Club of Pembroke, Jay McLaren says, “The Kiwanis Club of Pembroke is proud that the first Forest of Hope has been established on our property. The Forest of Hope will be well-managed to provide valuable environmental services, and sustainable economic and social benefits to our community.”  

“The Forest of Hope will be a teaching space for students in the Forestry Technician program at Algonquin College,” says Pete Arbour, Program Coordinator and Professor of the Forestry Technician program at Algonquin College. “The students will help with various phases of the Forest Management Plan, which will ensure the entire property becomes a productive and ecologically healthy forest.” Students and community members will also learn about the property through various informational signs. 

Forests of Hope will be established across Canada, so as many people as possible can learn, join our important work to prevent suicide, and comfort family and friends that have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. 

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) envisions a Canada without suicide. Since 1985, CASP has worked towards the achievement of its mission by advocating, communicating, and educating for suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and life promotion in Canada.


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