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Kiddies Korner celebrate roots in Petrolia with tree planting

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

An Autumn Blaze tree was planted on Wednesday to mark Kiddies Korner Co-op Nursery School 45th anniversary, and the kids came along with their shovels to help out. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

An Autumn Blaze tree was planted on Wednesday to mark Kiddies Korner Co-op Nursery School 45th anniversary, and the kids came along with their shovels to help out. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Kiddies Korner Co-op Nursery School celebrated their 45th anniversary by planting an Autumn Blaze tree in the park beside the Central Lambton Family Health Team. A plaque, donated by the Town of Petrolia, sits next to the tree and commemorates the nursery’s milestone.

 

Director Penny Kearney said the tree represents not only the roots they’ve planted in the community over the last four and a half decades, it symbolizes the growth of the children that they nurture at the local nursery, as well as their family tree.

 

“Trees are representative of us, we’re growing in our groups and in our family,” she said.

 

Kearney said the nursery had its start in the basement of a church with just a few parents and a volunteer board of directors. Since then, it’s expanded to a building located on Princess Street.

 

She said Kiddies Korner is one of the few co-ops left in the area – parents are involved in contributing to the nursery, providing snacks, craft supplies, toys, books and helping with fundraising.

 

“Our parents are on the board, grandparents are on our board,” she said. “It’s very wonderful to have them involved, they’re a big part of our school.”

 

The nursery has evolved over the years and expanded; they have a full kitchen, a cook, and they are licensed with the Ministry of Education.

 

Since Kearney became the director in 2013, she said she’s seen the number of children enroll grow from 12 to 37 this year.

 

“It’s a wonderful program,” she said. “It’s growing in leaps and bounds.”

 

She said the idea to plant a tree came after brainstorming what to do to celebrate 45 years – they wanted something that would have longevity.

 

“We want something that’s going to last awhile and also because of this environment,” she said, motioning to the playground equipment in the park. “It’s a kids’ place to be, what better place to put the tree?”

 

mschilz@postmedia.com