Bayview Buckets Adopt-a-Tree Project aims to save street trees
(August 22, 2012) Today, businesses along Toronto’s Bayview Ave. launched the Bayview Buckets Adopt-a-Tree Project designed to help street trees survive Toronto’s increasingly hot summers. Organized by LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) volunteer Helen Godfrey, local businesses will help street trees between Hillsdale Ave. E. and Davisville Ave. survive by promising to give them with three “Bayview Buckets” of water a week.
“I love trees and I felt there was an opportunity to help beautify my neighbourhood, reduce pollution and fight climate change,” said Godfrey. “We can’t afford to wait around and let governments do everything, so I felt this was an easy way for citizens and businesses to have a positive impact on their communities. Hopefully this initiative will be duplicated in other neighbourhoods across the city.”
Ms. Godfrey, with support from LEAF, conducted an inventory of street trees along Bayview Ave. south of Eglinton Ave. this May and determined that most were suffering from a lack of water. This summer, she contacted many of the businesses with trees in front of their properties to see if they would be interested in participating. Most were very supportive, and the local valu-mart even volunteered to donate watering cans to give to participating merchants.
“The local support for this project has been really terrific,” said Godfrey. “Almost everyone I spoke with thought this was a great idea and were happy to help.”
As part of the project, LEAF staff and volunteers also attached informative signs (in a non-harmful way) to the trees. Some identify the tree species and provide an interesting tree fact. Others contain general information outlining the importance of the urban forest. The signs also contain educational symbols and a QR code, which can be read by smartphones and tablets, linked to a webpage containing species specific information about each tree and other educational facts.
“I’m very proud of Helen for taking this project on,” said Amanda Gomm, Manager, Volunteer and Community Engagement. “She is a graduate of LEAF’s Tree Tender Volunteer Training program, which gives individuals tree-related knowledge and skills, and she serves as a terrific example of the work being done across the city by these volunteers.”
“It's a hard thing to turn ideas into action and Helen is one of the people who have succeeded in that task,” continued Gomm. “Her Bayview Buckets Adopt-a-Tree project is one that uses the simple act of watering trees as the spark to ignite community spirit and long term appreciation for living green infrastructure in our city. I believe it is not just the trees that will win with a great project like this... it's everyone in this neighbourhood who will benefit.”
"Local residents and small businesses, along with LEAF, are working together to beautify Bayview Avenue with this inspiring tree adoption program," said Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22 - St. Paul's). "Our community is excited to contribute to the success of this initiative."
Participating businesses on Bayview Ave. include:
- Amaya Express
- The Big Stretch Yoga Centre
- BMO Financial Group
- Bonnie Byford Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage
- Epi Breads
- Hollywood Gelato
- Horticultural Design Inc.
- Karmasutra Restaurant & Wine Bar
- L'Avenue Bistro
- Leaside Animal Clinic
- McSorleys's Wonderful Saloon & Grill
- Originals Bar
- Patisserie La Cigogne
- RBC Royal Bank
- Stainton, Murray and Lam Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries
- Dr. Stephen Simpson DDS
- Tribute Communities
- Verdi Restaurant
- Vizio Eyewear & Sunglasses
To date, more than 500 individuals have graduated from LEAF’s Tree Tender Volunteer Training program. To learn more about Tree Tenders or the Bayview Buckets Adopt-a-Tree Project please visit www.yourleaf.org.
LEAF is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. LEAF engages citizens in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. Since 1996, LEAF has helped residents plant more than 17,000 trees and shrubs. For more information, or to get involved, visit yourleaf.org.