Mennonite Heritage Village

A Village of Trees

September 15, 2022

By Gary Dyck

The act of planting a tree is, yes, a simple one. But rich. Rich in symbolism, rich in personal satisfaction, rich in the exercise of responsibility.

Michael Fisher, Sierra Club

At the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), we are happy to have trees and plants surrounding our historic buildings and algae in our pond. It has plants plus a few kinds of bacteria that provide all the oxygen on Earth. Recently, we received a grant from the federal Community Revitalization fund to plant trees. When Sheldon Falk from Falk Nurseries heard about this, he decided to double the amount and get Teen Challenge volunteers to do the planting with him! Next week, we expect to have over 100 trees planted.

From Sheldon Falk: “Being Mennonite has had a major impact in moulding my worldview. In the 1920s my grandparents fled their homeland at the point of death. Their personal grappling to trust God, forgive, love, and overcome financial and emotional devastation has deep roots in my home upbringing. Our pasts affect us personally and deeply. My relationship with Jesus is rooted in what this Museum represents.

Today in community with Teen Challenge who also represent Christ’s forgiveness, love, hope, and redemption, we are giving back to our heritage and our community. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute by doubling this grant for trees and giving of our time.”

Let me know if you are interested in watering these precious new trees so their roots can go deep. We have a pick-up truck and water tank that will need to make the rounds each week it does not rain. As Christophe Drénou said, “A tree’s future lies in its roots.” I would say the same is true for people and why we need to take care of museums like MHV.

dirk willem peace garden
Dirk Willems Peace Garden

Upcoming Events:

Our Climate Quest Exhibit, September 17 to October 1MHV will be hosting a national interactive exhibit about how small steps can lead to big change. It promises to be an engaging experience for the whole family.

All My Relations series, Unpacking the Doctrine of Discovery with Josh Dueck, September 29, 7pm – The Doctrine of Discovery has become a buzzword in the media and in conversations connected to Truth and Reconciliation. This evening’s conversation will unpack this and better equip Settler-Canadians in more thoroughly understanding how historic wrongs (including the church) have created present barriers for Indigenous people. It will challenge us to consider what our next steps are towards meaningful reconciliation.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, September 30 There will be free admission and handouts for a self-guided reconciling history walking tour. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Dirk Willems Peace Garden and take time to reflect and pray for the healing for our nation throughout the day.

Outdoor village buildings close, October 3rd The indoor museum as well as outdoor grounds remain open throughout winter. Your last chance to enjoy the Livery Barn Restaurant buffet and outdoor buildings is Sunday, October 2nd.