November 15, 2021 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON – Late last year, LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) received the good news that it was getting an $88,200 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The 12-month project has supported the adaptation and digitization of LEAF’s program delivery, including the development of virtual educational programming, to better meet the needs of the community and employees. OTF designed the Resilient Communities Fund grant program to help non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Protecting and developing the greenery in our city is not only essential to our environmental efforts but also contributes to our community’s health and wellbeing. Such a mission should be a priority for everyone, including government representatives, and we know it is not always the case. With this grant and their now virtual educational programming, LEAF will be able to reach more people and further contribute to a greener Toronto,” said Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul's.
LEAF has used the grant to transition to virtual educational programming and redesign its Backyard Tree Planting program to include additional health and safety training and contactless services. In support of longer-term capacity building, LEAF has also used the grant to transition to cloud-based systems to facilitate remote work that is secure, efficient and collaborative. This project will also improve the efficiency and sustainability of LEAF programs and services.
“When COVID-19 hit, we faced a multitude of challenges. Not only did we need to act quickly to reimagine our programs and services, but we also needed to find new ways to collaborate among the team,” said Erin MacDonald, Acting Executive Director at LEAF. “This grant provided the support we needed in this time of unprecedented challenge, to not only adapt to the changing needs of our staff and the community, but to improve our working environment and services as well.”
LEAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the urban forest. They offer programs that help communities plant, care for and learn about native trees and shrubs. Their work focuses on community engagement and tree stewardship. For more information, visit: www.yourleaf.org
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Meandra Provencal, Marketing and Communications Coordinator