Knowing what it is that we see brings us meaning and gives value to what is seen. —Lynn Bevan

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About the Tree Walk

After his wife, Jean Melrose Bevan, died in 2001, Michael Bevan created a tribute to their marriage of more than 56 years and to Jean’s love of nature.  Jean’s family were early settlers in Upper Canada, as Ontario was called before Canada became a country in 1867, and were closely connected to the land. In 2003, Michael gave a gift of over 50 trees to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where Jean and Michael were residents and where the family had lived more than 50 years earlier. He named it ‘The Jean Melrose Bevan Memorial Heritage Tree Walk’. 

Following Mr. Bevan’s death in 2011, his children changed the name to  ‘The Jean & Michael Bevan Tree Walk’.  The Tree Walk is both a loving tribute from the Bevan family and a way to provide education about Canada’s trees in an urban environment. 

Jean and Mike met during the Second World War and went to university following its end. Together, they raised four children in the hamlet of Kleinburg, north of Toronto. Jean managed all the household tasks, without outside help, while also, untypically, working full-time. Following the death of her father in 1964, Jean brought her mother and disabled older brother into the house.  She was a dedicated, inspiring mother and known as a vivacious, gracious host.

Michael was educated in agriculture at universities in Alberta and Wisconsin. At 29, he was Canada’s youngest provincial horticulturist. He became a director of television and producer of documentaries for television and radio with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and TVOntario, worked with the Canadian International Development Agency in the Caribbean, was elected as a municipal councillor and, after acquiring his fourth degree, in education, ended his formal working life as a science teacher.

Having learned from her family the value of connections with nature, Lynn Bevan donated a garden on the grounds of the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was created as a tribute to her sister, Peggy Bell, and brother-in-law, Ken Bell, for their tireless volunteer work. It is known as the ‘Bevan Bell Secret Garden’.

Michael Bevan and Jean Melrose Bevan, July 15, 1944
Doug Bevan, Michael Bevan, Don Bevan, Lynn Bevan, Jean Bevan, Peggy Bell
Bell Bevans Secret Garden plaque