Media Release

Strategic tree planting completes new green home


Eco Home(May 19, 2011, Toronto, ON – For Immediate Release) Today LEAF - Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests helped celebrate the completion of a year-long green-home build at 149 Park Home Ave. in Toronto by planting three trees on the property. The planting locations are designed to help keep the home cool in the summer and will provide the finishing touch to a new home designed with the environment in mind.


“Our Full Service Backyard Tree Planting Program is designed to put the right tree in the right place,” said Erin Stevens, LEAF arborist. “By assessing factors such as soil, light and available space, we can help homeowners select a native tree that will have an excellent chance of surviving to maturity, allowing it to provide critical habitat for wildlife and shade to help cool homes in the summer.”


Over the past year, homeowner Michelle Oliveira, her husband Kirk Merrett  and their two children have incorporated many green products and features into their new home including: geothermal heating, ICF forming in the basement, bamboo flooring, drain water heat recovery, a heat recovery ventilation system and interlocking/permeable paving.


By planting native trees in their yard, the Merrett family is helping to build Toronto’s urban forest which provides many “ecologcal benefits” such as improving air quality by trapping pollution particles that cause breathing problems, absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases, producing oxygen and reducing air temperature when water evaporates from the leaves.


“When we decided to tear down our bungalow and build a new home, we saw OUR opportunity to actually make a difference for the environment,” said homeowner, Michelle Oliveira.  “From recycling our deck, gazebo and hardwood flooring to using the earth to heat and cool our home, the decision to ‘go green’ was an easy one for us. As a family, we try to practice green & healthy living and feel the decisions we have made can help our damaged planet – one house at a time.”


Adam Smith of YANCH Geothermal was on hand to explain one of the most important green features of the home, its geothermal heating and cooling system.


“Throughout the year the earth, just below the surface, remains a nearly constant temperature of  8°C to 10°C depending on geographic location. Working with an underground loop system, geothermal heating and cooling systems utilize this constant temperature to exchange energy between the home and the earth as needed for heating and cooling thereby reducing the need for costly fossil fuels,” said Smith.


Immediately following the ceremony, the homeowner’s children and some of their friends learned about proper tree care and helped mulch the three new trees.


Since 1996 LEAF has helped citizens plant over 16,000 native trees and shrubs in their neighbourhoods. To learn more about planting, education or training programs provided by LEAF, visit