It's taken quite a while, but as of yesterday morning - which marked the official launch - things have really come together. The project couldn't have got off the ground without the assistance of LEAF, particularly Amanda Gomm and Jessica Piskorowski who have spent much time on the initiative and have given me invaluable advice.
Other LEAF volunteers have contributed their time and talent. Hamsha Pathmanathan took a detailed inventory of the trees and Paula Jacob designed an attractive eye-catching window-sign and logo that participating businesses display in their windows indicating they are 'adoptive' tree parents.
We have had the particular support of many businesses from early on. The local valu-mart donated watering cans (AKA the Bayview buckets!) and several others have promoted our efforts amongst their neighbours.
We had two meetings with Josh Matlow, councillor of Ward 22, who gave us his wholehearted support and attended the launch. LEAF's Matthew Higginson and Sarah Michelle Rafols designed and printed educational signs and safely attached them to 18 trees along the strip (no street trees were harmed in the making of this project). These indicate which species can be found in the area and facts about the urban forest. This will hopefully lead others to get involved – and maybe even some of the students at the local school. My vision is that they monitor the health of the trees, help clean up the litter, and make sure the initiative continues into the future!
I have never felt that my home ended at the sidewalk. My house is part of a larger neighbourhood - part of a community. People like me know the advantages that a healthy tree canopy provides particularly within a big city like Toronto. These trees are increasingly important in light of global warming and a polluted atmosphere.
If we succeed in this venture, maybe other areas of the city will be persuaded to do their own version of Bayview Buckets. Is your neighbourhood ready to adopt its street trees?