Erin MacDonald's picture
Posted by Erin MacDonald /
© 2015 Erin MacDonald / LEAF
Volunteers helping with the Danforth Adopt-a-Street-Tree Pilot Program have been diligently working over the past several weeks to bring awareness, understanding and an added level of care to the new trees along this busy commercial street between Woodbine and Victoria Park.
 

 

They embraced the sometimes challenging task of talking with so many different personalities, educating the neighbourhood about our urban forest and the simple acts of tree care that each person can contribute in the hopes of creating a more beautiful and vibrant streetscape.

 

A map of the Danforth trees helps our volunteer team keep track of trees that have been adopted.


It’s not the easiest of jobs to go from shop to shop and talk with business owners about the new trees on their street. You meet all kinds of people with all kinds of attitudes about trees. While many have been thrilled at the opportunity to talk trees and find out how they can help them thrive, others have been a bit less enthusiastic about the idea of adopting a tree at first. Yet, tree by tree, volunteers have been warming attitudes around community stewardship. Love for the new Danforth trees is growing strong.


Here’s what some of our amazing volunteers have to say:

“I enjoyed getting to know some of my neighbourhood business people. I feel more connected just walking the same routes I always did. The man at Sunny Auto asked if we weren't wasting our time finding tree adopters as the watering truck comes by to water often enough. After talking to The Wool Mill and Bell’s Martial Arts - people who were excited about adopting and naming their trees - I realized that we are facilitating a personal relationship (and love) for the trees.”

Liz, Local Danforth Resident and Volunteer


“My volunteer partner Catherine and I encountered some amazing people, some of whom had already adopted a tree in their own way. One of these people was Heidi, from John’s Hobbies. When we entered the store and gave her our pitch, she told us that she already watered the elm with any spare water she had. This included water bottles that she didn’t want to finish and she knew the tree could use. She told us that these new trees were a great improvement for the community and that everybody should do their part and help them grow to maturity.” 

Gen, LEAF Stewardship Intern

 

“Store owners seem to fall into two categories; either not interested at all or totally committed to the project. Hopefully the committed will win over the others when they see the improvement in the streetscape.”

Helen, LEAF Volunteer, Tree Tender Graduate and Bayview Buckets Coordinator. 


Volunteer team setting out to deliver watering cans to tree adopters.

 

It is exciting to see enthusiasm grow within the Danforth community and the credit goes to our committed volunteer team!  They have taken on the sometimes challenging but overall fun job of raising awareness about our urban forest and building community support for healthier street trees.

If you are interested in helping the Danforth trees thrive, please contact erin[at]yourleaf.org. There are still plenty of trees in need of adopters and we always welcome the help of outreach volunteers. Help us make this pilot project a great success!


LEAF’s Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program is supported by TD Green Streets and the City of Toronto.


Erin MacDonald is LEAF’s Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator.

Comments

Awesome program! Any idea if you'll be doing this on other streets in Toronto?
Thanks Zita. We think it's an awesome program too. The intention with Danfroth pilot program is do develop an Adopt-a-Street-Tree manual, similar to the Adopt-a-Park-Tree manual so that community groups and BIAs across Toronto can replicate this kind of stewardship program. The manual will be released towards the end of 2015, so please stay tuned :)

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