Community Programs

Lessons from Naturalizing Richmond Hill’s Urban Forest

Danielle holding silver maple leaf
Throughout May and early June, LEAF staff members were busy bees naturalizing public lands in the City of Richmond Hill. As a first-time tree planter, I was amazed that we were able to plant over 700 native trees and shrubs in just seven days! As I reflect back on the planting days, every day was unique and offered new learning opportunities for me. Here are three lessons I learned as a first-time tree planter!

Stewardship, Education and Volunteering in an Uncertain Year

six people celebrating surrounded by young recently planted trees
Throughout 2020, our Community Programs team was tasked with adapting many of our programs and events to follow ever-evolving public health guidelines. Despite the many changes, we were able to continue to engage volunteers and community members with fun and informative programs aimed at protecting and enhancing the urban forest. Here are some of the year’s accomplishments.

Monitoring for Success: Improving Biodiversity through Naturalization Plantings

Planting native trees and shrubs on public lands has many long-term benefits, including increasing essential habitat for local wildlife. To ensure our efforts are successful, we’ll be monitoring the impact of our tree planting events on plant biodiversity over time. Thanks to support from Ontario Power Generation’s Regional Biodiversity Program, we can assess each site as it establishes itself and adaptively improve our future naturalization efforts when needed.

Community Tree Plantings for Biodiversity in York and Durham Regions

This fall, LEAF staff and volunteers have begun planting native trees and shrubs in York Region as part of a larger, three-year project to increase biodiversity on public lands in York and Durham Regions. Among project activities are planting 6,000 native trees and shrubs, monitoring sites before and after planting and engaging local community members. These activities are made possible in part, thanks to support from Ontario Power Generation’s Regional Biodiversity Program.