Renfrew County Book Trees

Renfrew County Book Trees

Renfrew County Book Trees

You know that feeling after you finish reading a book and you cannot wait to pass it along to one of your friends because you know they’ll love it too.  A new project in Renfrew County is giving a whole new meaning to sharing books.  Introducing The Book Tree.  A spot to take a book, leave a book or share a book.  No membership or user fees required.


This project, carried out by a large number of community groups, uses already fallen trees from local forests.  Little cubby holes, as I like to call them, are carved out of the trees to make room for books that would appeal to all ages.  There are currently three locations in Renfrew County; Arnprior, Killaloe and Petawawa.

We had the chance to visit the Petawawa book tree recently.  Located at the Petawawa Civic Centre, it was the first one installed as part of this County wide project.  We exchanged Eric Carle’s First Book of Food for What Do You Say When A Monkey Acts This Way? A Book About Manners by Jane Belk Moncure.   The kids were quite interested in the surprises that awaited them when they lifted the plastic covers.  Some books are marked with a code that you can register at to track where the book has been.




For me the book tree really does two things-it encourages people to read and share their love of literature and it is also a great example of reuse.   It’s such an easy way to find a new home for books that are just taking up space on our bookshelves.  Visit their Facebook page at for more details about the project.  And when you get a chance, take the whole family out to enjoy this wonderful community endeavour.

Elizabeth Graham
Elizabeth is mom to three year old Emma and one year old Dustin. They live on a hobby beef farm in the Upper Ottawa Valley. She loves country living and has just started blogging about it on Raising Two and Everything Else I Do. When she's not enjoying her home with family and friends, she's the Communications Officer for a local waste management facility. She's passionate about recycling, waste reduction and anything re-purposed.
Elizabeth Graham

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3 thoughts on “Renfrew County Book Trees

  1. Lyn Smith

    Great blog about the Book Tree project. Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) was a partner in this very creative and worthy initiative. We love that the Book Trees give recycle and sharing opportunities, but our motivation was a little different.
    We are aware that many low income families don’t buy books (why would they? It’s a struggle to even put food on the table, let alone have the luxury to own books), so to us it’s an opportunity to even the playing field somewhat. The Book Trees give equal opportunity to ALL to own, read and donate books back, the Book Trees are a place to gather, and when families take a book or two they are not judged or stigmatized (for getting something for nothing). It’s a very equalizing place.

    We are also painfully aware that low income children are at a higher risk of dropping out of school, due to many barriers. These Book Trees will encourage a love of books and learning, while helping to decrease drop out rates, and increase employability, giving our low income children a better start to life.

    I hope that we see many more Book Trees ‘planted’ throughout Renfrew County.

    I think people would also be interested in the fact that as far as we know Petawawa’s Book Tree was only the 2nd of it’s kind in the world! And now we have 3 (and soon to be 4) we have the most Book Trees anywhere in the world.

    I am always proud of the work done in Renfrew County, also of the kindness of our citizens. As you can imagine I see and hear of sad stories on a daily basis, but I am proud to say that I also have the privilege to see many unsung heroes, some of which worked on the Book Tree project.

    Lyn Smith, Coordinator
    Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN)

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