WELLAND, ON (June 2, 2016) – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Foundation is pleased to announce that people will now be able to own a piece of the most famous maple tree in Canada. Local woodturner Marv Ens has created one-of-a-kind handcrafted pens made of wood pruned from the Comfort Maple.
A resident of Fenwick, Mr. Ens was out with friends enjoying the Comfort Maple Conservation Area one day and approached NPCA staff to inquire about the wood trimmings that are pruned from the tree for its repair and health. He discovered that the NPCA’s Superintendent, Mich Germain, had saved all the wood collected over the years with the hopes that someone would eventually repurpose it. Mr. Ens offered to make a sample pen for the Authority and from there his idea blossomed into a way to raise funds for the Conservation Foundation. “The Comfort Maple is one of; if not the oldest, sugar maple in the country so this is a great idea to create something special,” said Mr. Ens “I’m very happy to have the opportunity to work with the Foundation on this project.”
The pens sell for $55 and can be purchased at the NPCA main office located at 250 Thorold Road West in Welland or by phoning the Foundation at 905-788-3135.
The Comfort Maple is estimated to be between 441 and 541 years old. Located in the Town of Pelham, it stands as a unique piece of the Region’s heritage and has been incorporated into the Town of Pelham’s coat of arms. In June of 2000, the Comfort Maple received a natural heritage designation making it one of only two trees in the Niagara Region to be recognised for its historical significance.
“We were honoured to be able to present one of these special pens to the Rt. Hon. John Turner, Canada’s 17th Prime Minister, at the Water & Environmental Leadership Award Gala last year,” said Kevin Vallier from the Conservation Foundation, “Mr. Ens has created a unique item and we are very grateful to be partnering with him.”
The tree’s size and shape is 24.4 metres (80 feet) at its crown with a trunk circumference of 6 metres (20 feet). The 0.2 hectare (0.5 acres) area was part of the land purchased by the Comfort family in 1816 and later entrusted to the NPCA to protect this ‘old growth’ tree for its historical and biological significance.