Hundreds of small trees were planted in Wascana Creek Park by members of the Regina Sikh community over the weekend, to celebrate the religion’s founder Guru Nanak.

Giving back is a core belief in Sikhism and according to Ham Juttla of the Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, the trees planted are helping to celebrate a special religious birthday.

“This is his 550th anniversary and we are growing 550 trees,” said Juttla. “It’s not only in this city, but all over Canada.”

The belief of giving back inspired the creation of the Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, which has been giving free food to people in need for over a year. But while the kitchen gives to people who need help right now, the group sees the trees as an investment for future generations.

“These trees are planted not for me probably but for my grandsons,” said Juttla.

Regina’s mayor Michael Fougere said that the Sikh community is leading by example, and is in turn helping grow the city.

“They will stand here for many years, as a testament to the Sikh community's contribution to our city,” said Fougere. “This is a great example of a contribution that is a sustainable one, it's an environmentally friendly one.”

The group said that the tree planting is just the first part of their plans for the 550 year Guru Nanak Celebration. Next weekend the group will be at the Legislative Building handing out 550 plants to anyone that wants one, as a reminder to give back to the community.

Based on a report by Stefanie Davis