More Trees, Please! - Community Collaboration in Richmond Hill

This year brought lots of exciting opportunities for LEAF, including a partnership with the Town of Richmond Hill to engage the community and increase urban canopy cover. Through five different events during the spring and fall of 2018, we planted over 1250 trees and shrubs to enhance Richmond Hill’s urban forest!


Our superstar crew of planting participants included Girl Guides, businesses, and the general public. We planted at Sussex Park, Bridgeview Cordone Park (on multiple occasions), and along the Beaver Creek Greenway in Richmond Hill.


For each event, LEAF employed a multi-step approach to ensure the success and longevity of the newly naturalized habitats. First, prior to planting, LEAF’s arborist conducted site visits to identify soil and sunlight conditions. Based on this site visit, she created planting “zones” and selected species that would thrive in each zone. This step feeds well into our philosophy of “right tree, right place!”


Next, on the day of planting, LEAF staff, along with passionate and knowledgeable LEAF volunteers, offered planting demonstrations to event participants. These demonstrations included instructions on how to properly plant and mulch, as well as how to verify whether they planted correctly. Sporting their LEAF shirts, staff and volunteers walked around offering tips and answering questions to participants as they planted.


Finally, after participants finished planting, LEAF staff and volunteers would move into the “quality control” phase of the event. If anything was planted improperly, our dedicated team would get to work! We also used this step as a means to judge the efficacy of our planting demonstrations and whether they needed improvement.



Overall, our 2018 public planting season was a huge success. We enjoyed being able to offer an experience that was both educational and impactful and look forward to another successful year of partnership with the Town of Richmond Hill in 2019!


Thank you to all of the participants who joined us this year to grow the urban forest in the Town of Richmond Hill!



Natalie Secen is LEAF’s Volunteer & Stewardship Intern.


These planting events are supported by Town of Richmond Hill, The Regional Municipality of York, TD Friends of the Environment Fund and the Government of Ontario.