Published on August 20, 2013
Xander Martin, 7, stands on a stump where a spruce tree once grew, pointing out areas of forest that had been clear-cut. A nature and animal enthusiast, Xander hopes to raise $645 for Hope For Wildlife, Pictou County SPCA and the Friends of Retail society.
JOHn BRANNEN – THE NEWS
Published on August 20, 2013
Xander Martin, 7, stands with his sister Cameron, 5, at the Stellarton Enviro Depot after another successful day of his bottle drive. SUBMITTED
MILLSVILLE – Xander Martin, 7, stands on a stump where a spruce tree once grew, surveying the changed land.
It’s the first time he’s seen the aftermath of the clear cutting of trees just passed his ‘watering hole’ where some tadpoles are beginning to resemble frogs near his home in Millsville,
“Lots of trees are gone,” he noted, his voice tinged with sadness. “It’s not good because there were probably birds with nests and paths for rabbits in the forest here.”
His parents decided against taking him to see the aftermath for fear he’d be too upset.
After noticing clear-cutting under way behind his house he was very concerned about the animal habitats being lost, the Scotsburn Elementary student knew he had to act.
Since the end of July, Xander, with the help of his parents, sister and friends has been on a wildlife bottle and has managed to raise $532.70 to be donated to Hope For Wildlife, Pictou County SPCA and the Friends of Redtail society.
“He's a pretty amazing kid and now he is doing a pretty amazing thing,” said Xander’s mom, Alena Martin.
His concern for the forest and its inhabitant’s wellbeing stems from his love of nature and enjoyment of the great outdoors. The Martin house is surrounded by thick forests and is only a stones throw from the Fitzpatrick Mountain Trail.
“I like to go hiking with my dad,” said Xander. “We’ve seen deer, rabbits, a beaver and its dam and a blue herron nest.”
While the trails are nice, he often prefers to just go into the woods with his dad to chart some new trails and make new discoveries.
When Xander and his parents saw the tops of the tress come crashing down in the distance, he couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“It really concerned me after thinking about it. My first thought was how could we stop it.”
After deciding to do a bottle drive with a goal of $100, Xander and his parents quickly realized that they would surpass it in short order.
“It was within a week,” said Alena. “We really blew that target out of the water.”
Since then he’s met two more goals he set for himself including one to $300 and another to $500. He has just three days to reach his latest and final goal of $645.
To put that in perspective, that means Xander and his friends will have gathered and exchanged 3,225 bottles and cans. With a Facebook page however, his cause has caught the eye of people throughout the nation.
“We’ve had people send in donations from Newfoundland, Quebec and even British Columbia,” noted Alena. “I think it’s his love of nature and his trying to find a way to help that are special.”
While the clear cutting seems to have ended, Xander is still on edge when he hears the sound of heavy machinery in the distance. Thankfully for him, it’s just the harvesting of blueberries.
He’s optimistic he’ll reach his goal in the next few days and present the funds to Hope For Wildlife at an open house this Sunday.
“My friends have been really helping me a lot,” Xander said with a smile. “Small dreams can become big things.”
To see Xander’s progress or make a donation, visit his Facebook page managed by his mom Alena: https://www.facebook.com/events/639819552704247/.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn