Helping out Toronto's Park Trees
Through an Adopt-a-Park-Tree program, local communities work together 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
Join an existing project
Many parks in Toronto have a “Friends of” group. Some of these groups have started their own Adopt-a-Park-Tree projects. To find out if there is an existing project in your local park search the 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 Adopt-a-Park-Tree programs
Groups may be eligible to collaborate with the Young Urban Forest Leaders Program in order to receive support for adopt-a-tree initiatives.
See the “Start a Program” section below for more details.
We have been thrilled to work with such inspiring Friends of Parks groups and community 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. Connect with the groups below to learn more about their projects.
- Berczy Park
- Cedarvale Park
- Centennial Park
- Christie Pits Park
- Chester Le Park
- Earl Bales Park
- Earlscourt Park
- East Lynn Park
- Fairmount Park
- Guild Park
- Monarch Park
- Norwood Park
- P.I.N.E. Project
- Regent Park
- Stephenson Park
- San Romanoway Towers
- Trinity Bellwoods 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 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. They can provide support to community groups to help establish new Adopt-a-Park-Tree initiatives.
Benefits for the Community Groups:
Groups selected to collaborate with the program will receive assistance from LEAF and a team of YUFLs over a five-month period (May - September) to:
- Create an inventory, assessment and map of local trees
- Engage the local community through outreach activities and events
- Plant native trees through special planting incentives and distribute native shrubs through event giveaways
- Provide care to existing trees through stewardship initiative
- Educate about #BackyardBiodiversity and how planting native can help urban wildlife
Community Group Criteria:
To be considered for this program, groups must:
- Be an existing, well-organized group that is invested in the community
- Have a designated point person to communicate with LEAF and the YUFL team from May to September
- Be able to have at least one member of your group attend approximately 5-7 meetings/events with LEAF and the YUFL team from May to September
- Be willing (and enthusiastic) to help publicly promote the events planned by the YUFL team and encourage tree planting in the community
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!
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