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©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF
A group of five Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) including Megan, Willa, Mahlaini, Amy and myself, Laura, hosted a one-hour tree tour on Sunday, August 27th at Berczy to officially launch the Adopt-a-Park Tree Program with Friends of Berczy Park.

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

A photo with the YUFL group infront of the infamous dog fountain! (From left to right: Jacqueline Hamilton, Laura Nguyen, Mahlaini Bael-Laus, Willa Lin, and Megan McCabe).


The tree tour was created to teach local residents about the 57 trees that live in the park and the urban challenges that they face.

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF


Most of the trees in the park were planted this year during the park renovation and about a quarter are existing mature trees from before. The young American elms are thriving in their Silva Cell systems which increases soil volume and provides strong stormwater management. You can find the resilient Star magnolia, Ginkgo and Japanese pagoda tree near the busy dog area since they are species that can handle large amounts of human activity and slightly acidic soils.

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

Megan explaining how the Silva Cells work by the American Elm trees.


Throughout the summer, the YUFL partnered with the Friends of Berczy Park to create an Adopt-A-Park-Tree program. The program matches passionate volunteers with a tree in Berczy Park they can monitor and water in order to increase its survival. It is critical to pay extra attention to trees in their first couple of years because they are especially vulnerable to threats such as vandalism, lack of nutrients and water, construction, disease and competition from other plants.

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

Shaun Pearen from the Friends of Berczy Park talking about the AAPT program and more.


I’m happy to say that it was a huge success thanks to the wonderful group of participants that showed up to share their passion for the urban forest in several ways. They talked about tree facts with one another, asked great questions, practiced tree identification, picked up garbage along the walk, and some individuals signed up to adopt their very own tree in the Adopt-A-Park-Tree program!

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

One of our participants asking questions about the health of the trees in the park


©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

Participants helping to keep the park clean by picking up litter during the tour


LEAF also hosted a ‘#BeesLoveTrees’ info booth to raise awareness about the native species of trees and shrubs that our native bees love. Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem. The native bee population has been negatively affected by disease, pesticide use, climate change, and habitat loss. We need everyone to speak out for bees and help protect our best pollinators. Check out our Bees Love Trees page for more information.

©2017 Anthony Polimeni / LEAF

Jillaine sharing #BeesLoveTrees information with participants and visitors


If you are interested in adopting a tree, we encourage you to reach out to the Friends of Berczy Park who can help pair you with a tree to care for on a time commitment that fits your schedule.


Special thanks to Jacqueline Hamilton, Erin MacDonald, the Friends of Berczy Park, and the event volunteers for their support – the YUFL are thankful for all your help and expertise.


Mahlaini Bael-Laus, Amy Kikuchi, Willa Lin, Megan McCabe, and Laura Nguyen are participants in LEAF’s Young Urban Forest Leaders Program.


All photos by Anthony Polimeni.

The Young Urban Forest Leaders and Adopt-a-Park-Tree programs are supported by the City of Toronto and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.  


Our #BeesLoveTrees campaign is supported by Ontario Power Generation.


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