Helping out Toronto's Park Trees

Through the Adopt-a-Park-Tree program, local communities work together with support from the City, Park People and LEAF to enhance the urban tree canopy and Toronto's parks.

Modelled on the tree stewardship program started by the amazing volunteers of Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park back in 2006, this program connects residents with newly planted park trees. Each young tree is adopted by an individual (or a group) who agrees to regularly water, weed and monitor their tree from May to October. The goal is to help new trees thrive in the first three to five years after planting while they establish strong root systems. 

Benefits of an Adopt-a-Park-Tree program: 

  • Adopters become invested in the park and the trees
  • Trees have a much greater chance of survival which can save tax dollars
  • Healthy young trees will add to overall urban canopy


Get support from LEAF to start your own Adopt-a-Park-Tree Project

Some Friends of Park groups may be eligible to receive support to start a new Adopt-a-Park-tree project. See “Start a Program” section below for more details.

If you would like to be notified when applications for the 2019 program open, please let us know here.





© 2015 David Slaughter

Not sure your local park has a Friends group? Search Park People finder or see the list of parks we have worked with.

If you would like to adopt a park tree, please contact your park group directly.



Support for starting new Adopt-a-Park-Tree programs will return in 2019.


To be notified when the application period opens for community groups interested in initiating an Adopt-A-Park-Tree program at their local park, please sign-up below.

Sign-up for the application notification list


©2015 David Slaughter / LEAF

We have been thrilled to work with such inspiring Friends of Parks groups, whose committed volunteers have shown amazing initiative in getting these programs started and will carry out the hard work of ensuring the young trees in their parks get the care they need in years to come. Learn more about each project below for ideas and inspiration.




Start A Program

©2016 Tooba Shakeel

Get Help from LEAF’s Young Urban Forest Leaders Program

The Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program is a five-month training program that provides young people (18-29 years old) with hands-on experience in the field of urban forestry and community engagement. YUFL participants receive training and mentorship from LEAF staff and work in partnership with community groups to help establish new Adopt-a-Park-Tree initiatives. 

Benefits for Park Groups:

Park groups selected to participate in the program will receive:

  • Assistance from LEAF and a team of Young Urban Forest Leaders over a five-month period to:
    • Create an inventory, assessment and map of park trees
    • Develop a stewardship plan, which includes guidelines on tree care and key details for running an Adopt-a-Park-Tree Program that is specific to your park
    • Organize and host public events. Events include:
      • Outreach activities
      • Educational workshops
      • Tree care events
      • Tree tours
      • Tree planting workshops
  • Supplies needed to launch an Adopt-a-Park-Tree initiative up to a maximum of $500 per group (includes items like hoses, printing of promotional materials, refreshments for a public event, etc.)
  • Assessment of the surrounding community to identify opportunities to increase tree canopy, promoting native tree planting on private property at no/minimal cost to residents during the YUFL program period  

Readiness Criteria:

To be considered for this program, Park Groups must:

  • Be an existing, well-organized group that is prepared to follow through on an Adopt-a-Park-Tree Program
  • Be associated with a City of Toronto park that has had new trees planted within the last few years (or that will have new trees planted within this year)
  • Have a designated representative that will commit to liaising with LEAF and the Young Urban Forest Leaders team
  • Be committed to co-hosting a public event between August and September to raise awareness about the project
  • Be willing to help publicly promote the Adopt-a-Park-Tree Program, the planting of native trees and shrubs in the community and the events organized by the YUFL program throughout the season (social media, newsletter, booth at community events, etc.)
  • Commit to ongoing coordination of the Adopt-a-Park-Tree program once the youth have completed the Young Urban Forest Leaders program 

Tell me when the 2019 program applications open


©2016 Toshio Ushiroguchi-Pigott/LEAF

Start Your Own Program with the Adopt-a-Park Tree Manual

Anyone can start an Adopt-a-Park-Tree program, and it can vary in size and formality. Each group will find its own level of organization and methods of implementation.  The Adopt-a-Park-Tree Manual was developed by Park People and LEAF to help community groups across the city get started. The manual is free and can be viewed online

Inside the Manual

Inside this PDF you'll find all the information you need to get started with your own Adopt-A-Park-Tree Program, including information on:

  • Creating a Team
  • Surveying your Site
  • Caring for Your Trees
  • The Tools You'll Need
  • Funding Tips
  • Common Challenges and more!

Find an Existing Program

Several park groups in the city have established Adopt-A-Tree Programs - search for a group based near you through the Parks We Have Worked With tab above, or by searching the Park People finder!

Adopt-A-Park-Tree Resources

Supporting Partners