Keeping the Urban Forest on a Healthy Diet

Salt. It's on our tables, in our food and on our sidewalks. It has been linked to high-blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in us; discoloured leaves and sparse foliage in our canopies overhead. And as pressure grows to get Canadians to ease up on our intake, it may also be time to put our trees on a low-sodium diet.

Saving the world, one workshop at a time

Toyin Coker and I sit across from each other at a chess table in the park outside the Wychwood Barns. It’s a sunny afternoon and a few birds fly overhead in the cool, late November air. I ask her to describe herself in a word. She floats a few, “natural mentor...gardener...I guess you could say a kind of community builder." I'm not totally convinced those encompass all that she is. We're here to talk permaculture. And if there's one thing I'm sure of, its that she is a woman who has realized her dream.

Discovering the wild city

Milne Hollow is located along the Don Valley, sitting between the edges of Scarborough and North York. Surrounded by a major highway in what is a former industrial site, it is one of the most magnificent examples of how diverse our canopy can be. When I first arrived I was struck by the way it stood beaming with colour, so full of life. This is no accident – the city of Toronto has been working to renaturalize this site for over a decade and in 2011 LEAF signed on to help them achieve their goals.