Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens turned 10 years old this year! To celebrate this milestone we compiled responses from our volunteer Garden Stewards through an anonymous feedback survey. Here, we share their experiences along with a series of photographs of the gardens captured this summer by our talented volunteer photographer, Kanchan Maharaj. We hope that these photos and our volunteers’ words inspire you to enhance the urban forest in your own community!
“The benefits of urban forests are many, and well-documented. I come away from caring for our forested environment feeling invigorated and renewed.”
“I feel proud and triumphant that we can create a small patch of native garden paradise in the midst of a concrete jungle.”
“[Our] garden gets a lot of pedestrian traffic so we often get opportunities to engage the public about the garden. They are always grateful for our efforts to beautify this small patch of land.”
“My favourite part is engaging with the public and sharing knowledge about native plants, pollinators and the importance of nurturing the soil and our connection to nature. However, I would say that seeing the garden evolve over time and how other members of the team connect to the garden and its plants is also a favourite aspect.”
before and after pictures - these gardens make a huge contribution to neighbourhood beautification.”
“The fact that being in the presence of trees and plants and nature in general is good for our health and well-being, something that is particularly important in an increasingly urbanized society, inspires me. By protecting and enhancing the urban forest, we help repair the disconnection between humanity and nature, build community resilience and help address climate change by enhancing local carbon sinks.”
“I feel like in some small part I am contributing to a better world.”
To see more photos of our gardens, view our entire photo series.
Would you like to help maintain our gardens? Learn more about becoming a LEAF volunteer.
Brian Millward is the Stewardship Coordinator at LEAF.
The LEAF Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens are supported by Ontario Power Generation and the Toronto Transit Commission.