We all know the benefits of having big, beautiful trees where we live. However, the unfortunate reality is that some communities miss out on these because their neighbourhoods lack trees. Recognizing the tremendous opportunity to increase canopy cover in the communities that would benefit the most, LEAF, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), City of Toronto Forestry and Park People have been trailblazing the way for equitable tree planting! With grants from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, as well as TD Bank Group and the Arbor Day Foundation, the partners worked together with TCHC staff and tenants to plant 150 trees across 11 properties in Toronto.
Pat, a City of Markham resident, first planted with LEAF in 2008 and has since planted again with LEAF in spring 2019. Our Program Manager, Kim De Lallo, interviews Pat about her LEAF experience and her continuing interest in the value of the urban forest.
In this year alone, over 7,000 square meters of park land have been naturalized by Richmond Hill community members. Throughout the spring and fall of 2019, LEAF, the City of Richmond Hill and The Regional Municipality of York have hosted five planting events in Meander Park. With the help of 480 community members, we have planted 1,350 native shrubs and trees.
Dale first planted with LEAF in 2017 and then again in 2018. By adding seven trees and a bunch of shrubs to his Toronto property, he is making a wonderful green impact. Our Program Manager, Kim De Lallo, interviews Dale about his enthusiasm for LEAF and his love of his backyard oasis.
Every year, groups of LEAF volunteers tend to six Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens throughout Toronto. These gardens provide an example of the beauty and importance of establishing native plant species in urban areas. One of the benefits of planting these species is that they foster local pollinators, including native bees and butterflies. And, this summer, we were blown away by the number of pollinators we saw at our gardens!