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©2016 Erin MacDonald / LEAF
On June 24th, LEAF, Green 13, Junction Business Improvement Area (BIA) and City of Toronto met at the Junction Summer Solstice Festival to launch our Adopt-A-Street-Tree program. This project encourages communities to actively steward the street trees in their neighbourhood.
 

The emergence of this initiative started in 2016, when a group of concerned residents noticed that the street trees in the Junction were suffering from drought and other urban stresses. They took it upon themselves to begin watering and caring for the trees to improve their chance of survival.

© 2016 Janet McKay / LEAF

Volunteer Rita Bijons and Councillor Sarah Doucette watering trees in Toronto’s Junction

 

This year, at the request of those community members, LEAF decided Toronto’s Junction would be the neighbourhood for its third Adopt-A-Street-Tree project. This decision was supported by the City of Toronto, the Junction BIA, and local environmental group Green 13. The program aims to pair each tree in the community with an adopter (either a business or resident), who will in turn care for the tree throughout the year. In total, 137 trees are part of the project, which span along Dundas Street West between Quebec and Indian Grove. The project is currently being funded by Live Green Toronto (a program of the City of Toronto) and the Canadian Tree Fund. In addition, the Junction project received a grant through Green 13 and the Junction Residents Association annual fundraiser Function in the Junction. 

 

In early June volunteers focused on canvassing local businesses to find adopters, but residents were still largely unaware of the project. Fortunately, the Junction’s annual Summer Solstice Festival presented the perfect opportunity to open up tree adoptions to local residents. Throughout the day, LEAF hosted a table to provide information about how community members could get involved with Adopt-A-Street-Tree. By the end of the festival, 8 trees had been adopted by local residents, totaling to 77 trees adopted to-date! With the help of all our new adopters, the Junction’s trees will be able to grow and thrive in the upcoming years. 

© 2017 Erin MacDonald / LEAF

Volunteer & Stewardship Assistants Aidan and Kim hosting the LEAF table at the Summer Solstice Festival

 

LEAF also conducted two tree tours at the festival with the help of the City of Toronto’s John Lieber, Ward 13 Councillor Sarah Doucette, and LEAF volunteer and arborist Emily Heidendahl. Almost 20 festival-goers attended the tours to learn about tree identification tips, historical and cultural uses, and common urban tree stressors. The enthusiasm for trees was evident as community members shared personal experiences and stories about the trees in their neighbourhood.

© 2017 Erin MacDonald | LEAF

City of Toronto Planner John Lieber sharing some of his tree knowledge on the tree tour

 

LEAF and Green 13 are currently looking for volunteers and adopters to help with this program in the Junction community! If you are interested, please contact junctiontrees[at]gmail.com for more information. 

A big thank-you to our volunteers that helped LEAF with the Summer Solstice Festival! A special thanks to City of Toronto’s John Lieber, Councillor Doucette, the Junction BIA, and Green 13 for their on-going support of the Adopt-A-Street-Tree Program. 

 

Photos were taken by Janet McKay and Erin MacDonald.

 

Kim is LEAF’s Volunteer and Stewardship Assistant. 

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