Kettle Lakes Public School Students Pitch in to Help Achieve Forest Canopy Goals!

(October 13, 2017)  Today, students from Kettle Lakes Public School pitched in to help plant and care for trees and shrubs at Grovewood Park in Richmond Hill.  Over 60 students cared for 300 trees and shrubs they had planted last year.  They also planted new trees at the site. 

The Town of Richmond Hill, The Regional Municipality of York, and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), have been working collaboratively, and with other partners such as Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Ontario Streams, to increase canopy cover in our communities.  

“Engaging the public in our efforts is extremely important and students from Kettle Lake Public School showed their commitment today by working hard to plant and care for this site,” said Janet McKay, Executive Director of LEAF.  “And their enthusiasm is infectious!”

After the students completed their work, the Mayor of Richmond Hill thanked and congratulated them. 

“Thanks to the help of our community and our partners we plant more than 10,000 trees in Richmond Hill every year”, said Mayor Dave Barrow.  “Together, we’ve helped increase our tree cover by 4.5% or 430 hectares in 10 years.  That’s equivalent to 805 football fields!”

“The urban forest is a very important asset that faces serious threats,” added James Lane Program Manager of Forestry at York Region.  “In light of challenges like Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive species as well as the complicating effects of climate change, it’s more important than ever that we work with our partners to grow our urban canopy.  That’s why events like this one are cause for celebration!”  

Planting and stewardship programs offered by LEAF are also supported by other partners.  “Ontario Power Generation is committed to enhancing biodiversity through naturalization projects like this one,” added Gerry McKenna, OPG’s Section Manager for Environment.  “It’s wonderful to see young people demonstrating their commitment to nature.”  

Mayor Barrow, local Richmond Hill Councillors and other partners then rolled up their sleeves and got their own hands dirty planting three ceremonial trees.   

York Region encourages residents to love their yards by working in partnership with LEAF who offer practical assistance to all York Region property owners at an affordable price.  LEAF’s Full Service Backyard Tree Planting Program offers many native trees that beautify properties and provide excellent pollinator habitat such as basswood, honey locust, serviceberry and many more. 

The Town of Richmond Hill offers additional support to property owners through its Healthy Yards Program.  Opportunities for the public to get involved at community tree planting events are also available.

Ontario Power Generation is the province’s largest clean electricity provider. More than 99 per cent of the power produced by OPG is free of smog and carbon emissions.  OPG supports LEAF programs through their Regional Biodiversity Program.  


To learn more about planting and stewardship programs available visit:

LEAF      Richmond Hill       York Region 




Janet McKay
Executive Director
Office: 416-413-9244 ext.17
Cell: 647-883-5777


Tooba Shakeel
Education and Outreach Coordinator, LEAF
Office: 416-413-9244 x13
Cell: 647-833-3708