Erica Hazlett's picture
Posted by Erica Hazlett /
©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF
On October 13th, students and teachers from Kettle Lakes Public School returned to Grovewood Park, Richmond Hill to plant trees and tend to the trees and shrubs they planted the previous year.

While the weather was dreary, the energy was high as the Kettle Lakes Public School students and teachers returned to the site at Grovewood Park that they had planted at the previous year.  Classes were re-introduced to the importance of conserving and enhancing our urban forest, and experienced the value of stewardship by tending to the 300 native trees and shrubs they planted in 2016.

©2017 David Slaughter/LEAF

Students planted an additional 31 trees and shrubs at Grovewood Park. 


©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF

Students show off their hard work and perfectly planted Red Osier Dogwood.


With the help of LEAF volunteers, students learned how to tend to the trees that were planted last year.  This involved removing any invasive species encroaching around the young trees/shrubs and replenishing the mulch donut surrounding the tree.  Mulch is extra important this time of year as it insulates the soil and prevents repeated freezing or thawing of the ground, which could cause heaving disruption of the tree. It also discourages the growth of invasive species that would compete for the young tree’s resources.

©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF

Students and Richmond Hill staff, Antonio, working hard at the mulch pile. 


©2017 Erica Hazlett / LEAF

Student and Ontario Streams staff, Heather, working together to pull back invasive species and apply a fresh layer of mulch.


After the students completed their work, the Mayor of Richmond Hill thanked and congratulated them. 

“Thanks to the help of our community and our partners we plant more than 10,000 trees in Richmond Hill every year”, said Mayor Dave Barrow. “Together, we’ve helped increase our tree cover by 4.5% or 430 hectares in 10 years.  That’s equivalent to 805 football fields!”

©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF

Kettle Lake students and teachers receive a certificate of appreciation from LEAF, partners, and Mayor Barrow in recognition of their environmental stewardship efforts.


Mayor Barrow and our event partners then rolled up their sleeves and got their own hands dirty planting a ceremonial tree.

©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF

Mayor Barrow, LEAF Staff, and partners share a moment around their beautifully planted Silver Maple.


Special thanks to the partners who made the event possible the Regional Municipality of York, the Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario Power Generation, and Ontario Streams.

We could not have had such an amazing, successful day without the support of LEAF volunteers who provided guidance to students on proper planting, mulching, and weeding techniques and ensured everyone had a great time!

©2017 David Slaughter / LEAF

Students celebrate with Mayor Barrow and LEAF volunteers.


You can see more photos from this event on our Facebook page, and check out the video below which captures all of the excitement, hard work, and great energy from a wonderful day of planting! 


Photographs by David Slaughter and Erica Hazlett.


This event was supported by York Region, Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario Power Generation and Ontario Streams. 


Erica Hazlett is LEAF’s Education and Outreach Assistant.


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