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.
Modeled 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
Applications for 2018 are now closed
If you would like to be notified when applications for the 2019 program open, please let us know here.
To download a printable information page about the Adopt-A-Park-Tree and Young Urban Forest Leaders Programs, click here.
Five of our Young Urban Forest Leaders are supporting the Friends of Centennial Park to establish a new Adopt-a-Park-Tree project.
Centennial Park is one of Toronto’s busiest parks and is the second largest in the City at 525 acres. In 2014, approximately 450 trees were removed from the park due to Emerald Ash Borer.
Friends of Centennial Park, in partnership with Our Place Initiative, works with the local community, advocating for improvements to the park to increase everyone's enjoyment of this wonderful space. They have been working on tree planting initiatives to help increase the tree canopy, and now, the Friends of Centennial Park are developing an Adopt-a-Park-Tree project that will foster stewardship for years to come.
Five of our Young Urban Forest Leaders are supporting the Friends of Guild Park to establish a new Adopt-a-Park-Tree project.
Guild Park is 36 hectares, located on the geologically significant landform of the Scarborough Bluffs. It’s located within the transition life zone between the Southern and Great Lake-St. Lawrence Forest systems, characterized by both the coniferous trees of the northern Boreal forest mixed with deciduous trees.
Since 2013, the Friends of Guild Park have been working to increase the awareness and appreciation of Guild Park & Gardens as a spectacular and sustainable public destination, where art meets nature. The park was formerly the site of an artist colony and is notable for its collection of relics, saved from the demolition of buildings primarily in downtown Toronto, arranged akin to ancient ruins.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, this popular park was the first in the city to launch an Adopt-a-Park-Tree program in 2006.
However, with 90 new trees and changes in program coordination, the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods was seeking support to revitalize their Adopt-a-Park-Tree program. This year, five of our Young Urban Forest Leaders are helping the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods incorporate the new trees into the long-standing Adopt-a-Park-Tree program.
If you would like to adopt a park tree, please contact your local park group directly.
Not sure if your local park has a Friends group? Search the Park People finder.
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.
- Berczy Park
- Cedarvale Park
- Earl Bales Park
- Earlscourt Park
- East Lynn Park
- Fairmount Park
- Monarch Park
- Norwood Park
- P.I.N.E. Project
- Regent Park
- Stephenson Park
- Withrow Park
Start A Program
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 women 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 small 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 a public event that includes mulching young park trees and a guided tree tour
- 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.)
To be considered for this program, Park Groups must:
- be an existing “Friends of” group or another 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 prepared to co-host a public Adopt-a-Park-Tree event between August and October to raise awareness about the program
- be willing to help publicly promote the Adopt-a-Park-Tree Program (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
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!
With significant input from Michaelle McLean of Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park, LEAF and Park People created an Adopt-A-Park-Tree Manual to help community groups across the city hit the ground running with their tree care projects! A special thanks to Trees for Life for sponsoring the creation of the manual