Gale Rogers will gift 15 acres of land to Greater Napanee
By Diego Flammini
A Christmas tree grower from Eastern Ontario hopes his community will benefit from a land donation.
Gale Rogers owns a 67-acre farm in Greater Napanee, Ont. He plans to gift 15 acres, which he used for Christmas tree production, to the town to encourage residents to get outside and enjoy nature.
The donation is also part of his plan to retire from the Christmas tree industry.
“The land is perfectly suited for non-vehicular recreational use,” he told Farms.com. “Maybe skiing, hiking or visits for school groups. People nowadays seem to be more interested in staying indoors, so I’m hoping we can inspire some families to get outside and have some fun.”
Community has always been a part of Rogers’s identity.
He’s donated proceeds from Christmas tree sales to the Salvation Army for about 30 years. In 2013, he received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General in recognition of his efforts.
Donating the land to the community is a way of saying thank you, he said.
“I’ve grown up here, raised a family here and have been able to run a business here,” the 81-year-old said. “This land has given me so much, so now it’s time for others to benefit from it.”
Rogers started the tree farm, which also includes about 30 acres of arable land, as a project for his kids.
“They initially started growing and selling strawberries as a way to make money for camping equipment,” he said. “As they got older we moved to Christmas trees, which also helped then learn about different kinds of trees. After a few years we started interplanting different species of trees, so now we have a permanent forest.”
Gale Rogers and his partner, Karina.
Gale Rogers photo