Wow, the 2011 stewardship season at LEAF has been a busy one – and an amazing one! From creating small pockets of biodiversity through our Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens to taking part in large naturalization plantings, we’ve certainly left our positive mark on Toronto’s tree canopy.
I remember a time when commuting home meant a noisy ride on a packed subway, only to be met by the cement world that is mid-town Toronto. I would look up into the sky to feel the warmth of the sun on my face - only to see clouds move pass a skyline littered with tall buildings.
On July 1st 1967, four days after I turned 11 years old, I planted a tree in our backyard. The little sapling was one of many given to Sarnia Observer newspaper subscribers to commemorate Canada’s 100th birthday. The tree is now over 30 feet tall. Okay so it is a Norway Maple and nothing grows under it’s thick canopy and roots. But hey, I love it all the same.
Many of you know me as a people mobilizer. As Manager, Volunteer and Community Engagement at LEAF, I don’t often get a chance to really dig in (pardon the pun) to the concepts and difficulties landscape architects face when working to beautify our urban spaces. But I often walk by parks and only see the final product... we “tree people” may even get upset with chosen species or how the trees are planted. What we don’t see is all of the difficult trouble-shooting that’s required in urban planning. So at this years Spreading Roots conference I was excited to listen to Greg Warren talk about designing with trees.
At the end of November 2011, Toronto City Council will begin reviewing the 2012 budget that will affect many of our city services. There will be urban forest items on the City Council meeting agenda scheduled for November 29th and 30th. Please let your Councillor know today that healthy trees are a priority in your neighbourhood!