If I asked you to close your eyes right now and picture a tree, what would it look like? Can you describe it: Its size, its shape and its leaves? My brain-tree looks like a pine, and there’s a very good reason for that. It’s also the secret reason that I wanted to join the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program. But to understand why my brain-tree is a pine, and why that made me want to spend a summer learning about urban forestry, I have to tell you a little story.
Young Urban Forest Leaders
Sammy Tangir is an outdoor educator and an alumnus of the Young Urban Forest Leaders program. For Sammy, learning never stopped, and she has continued to pursue her passions, learning all she can about trees. Today, she’s a self-published author of a number of plant identification guides and an avid nature photographer, interests that were spurred on after her time as a Young Urban Forest Leader.
The Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program provides hands-on training and mentorship for Toronto youths. As Education Coordinator at LEAF, I, Lam Tran, am in charge of running and delivering this amazing program. But, not too long ago, I was lucky enough to be a program participant myself. At the time, I was full of hope, curiosity and a bit of anxiety. Little did I know, becoming a YUFL would turn out to be a defining moment in my life. Today, I want to share my story.
On August 24, members of the Bloordale and Brockton communities gathered for an exciting tree tour starting from St. Clarens Street to MacGregor Park. The 2019 LEAF Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFLs) leading the tour consisted of Willow Cabral, Tamar Goldberg, Tua Hytonen, Samantha Quezada, Anton Stanley and Venu Wadehra. Each of the YUFLs, along with the community groups, spent the summer preparing for the event.
It was a muggy summer night on August 21st when a group of Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFLs) taught an eager group of residents from the Pocket neighbourhood in East York how to identify some of their local trees and about the important differences between native, non-native and invasive species.