Media Release

Celebrate National Forest Week with Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program

Tree Tenders Volunteer Training

(August 15, 2013 Toronto ON – For immediate release) Torontonians can celebrate this National Forest Week with LEAF’s Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program at Toronto Botanical Garden (777 Lawrence Ave E. Toronto). The course runs from Tuesday, September 24 to Tuesday, October 1, 2013. For $50, participants will receive over 12 hours of indoor and outdoor arboriculture training from professional instructors and, for an additional $20, can purchase the course manual.


“Trees provide many health benefits, extend the life of our grey infrastructure, reduce crime, and make our cities livable. But without keen citizens to properly plant and care for them, trees are unable to provide all these benefits,” says Robyn Stewart, Education & Outreach Coordinator, LEAF. “This National Forest Week we encourage people to attend the course and learn how they can help our urban forest


The course, designed to offer residents unique skills and empower them to strengthen the urban forest in their communities, explores topics such as tree biology, tree identification, proper planting and care, urban stresses, tree protection bylaws, and community stewardship. During the course, participants will also make a lasting contribution to Toronto’s urban forest by planting a tree along Toronto Botanical Garden’s Woodland Walk, which offers crucial habitat for migrating birds.


To date there are over 500 Tree Tenders graduates. Many volunteer with LEAF after their training. The LEAF Learning Garden at the Wychwood Barns, Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens at TTC subway stations (Old Mill, High Park, Bathurst, Spadina and St. Clair), and stewardship events across Toronto and York Region highlight the graduates’ ability to transform neglected urban spaces and make a difference.


Others go on to start their own initiatives. “I love trees and I felt there was an opportunity to help beautify my neighbourhood, reduce pollution and fight climate change.” says Helen Godfrey, Tree Tender graduate and founder of Bayview Buckets, a collaborative project that encourages local businesses to care for the trees in front of their establishments. “We can’t afford to wait around and let governments do everything. Tree Tenders enabled me to feel confident, so I started a project to have a positive impact on my community.”


National Forest Week was originally established in the 1920s as Forest Fire Prevention week. Renamed in 1967, it has become a week for Canadians to pay homage, learn more about, and recognize their role in caring for these shared resources.


To attend the Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program, participants must be at least 18 years of age. For full details or to register, visit


Photo opportunities / interviews with course instructors and participants available upon request. 




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