Fast-forward 4 decades later to a dinner party in Toronto where I met Todd Irvine, who was working for LEAF. Over the course of the evening Todd, like a proud parent, talked about the organization. Later, when checked out LEAF’s website I made note of the Tree Tenders Volunteer Training program they offered. After a brief period of contemplation I was registered. Todd taught the course, his last, and I admit I loved every minute of it. I thought I knew a lot about trees, but I came away bursting with new knowledge.
Two years later when a chance to volunteer with the new TTC Bathurst Urban Forest Demonstration Garden came up I sent in my name. All summer our dedicated group watered the garden with great care.
All three plots flourished and again this past summer we tended the plants, trees and bushes as we would our own kin. Despite my early withdrawal from the team (a nasty broken kneecap and wrist from a fall off my bike) the gardens performed wonderfully. The Markham exit of the Bathurst Station has never looked so good – there may not be a whole lot going on right now, but I strongly suggest you check it out next spring when you get a chance!