A Super Leafy Week in London

Project type: Million Tree Challenge
Year: 2016
Season: Fall

National Forest Week 2016 was a week of tree giveaways, tree planting and showing trees some love!

Each year, ReForest London celebrates National Tree Day – the middle day of National Forest Week — and encourages Partners to celebrate by giving away free tree seedlings, and in the case of the City of London, small trees. All of these trees given out are in honour of London’s Million Tree Challenge

This year, we wanted to expand our reach and impact by celebrating National Forest Week. We felt that a whole week would increase awareness and importance of tree planting and our urban forest and serve as a celebration for all Londoners to appreciate the great benefits that trees and our urban forest provide. It truly was a week of tree fun, education, engagement, giveaways and planting events.

This green week included a special Hug Me Promotion, five naturalization plantings done by ReForest London, National Tree Day and a neighbourhood tree blitz.

The special Hug Me Promotion encouraged people to show trees some love by hugging them, snapping a photo of themselves doing so and uploading their photo to social media using the hashtag #Idigtrees. Free trees were offered to participants. Close to 100 people took part and shared their images on social media – it was great fun and really nice to see! A special thanks to all the volunteers who helped put up and take down the Hug Me signs all over the city. We couldn’t have done it without your help.

National Tree Day

National Tree Day saw 3515 trees and seedlings given away by 14 different participants at 31 public locations and 7 private locations all across the city. Thank you to all Million Tree Challenge supporters who made this an amazing day: City of LondonScotiabank, Goodwill IndustriesWestern University, Bluestone PropertiesThe Make it Happen Project Peggy Sattler MPPFriends of the Civic GardensTVDSB,  ReForest London, ATN/Old East Village GrocerNokee KweMLHU, and Woodland Heights PS.

The City of London especially stepped up again this year by giving away close to 2000 large trees at four different mall locations scheduled at different times throughout the day. The response was amazing and this large giveaway helped break down barriers to people planting on their land including people with disabilities. ReForest London Tree Specialist Volunteers added great value to the City’s giveaways educating people about the trees offered and which trees would suit their property best. Special thanks to Rogers TV London volunteers who helped deliver and plant trees for persons with disabilities who wanted one. Also a big thanks to Two Small Men With Big Hearts Moving for their generous support of National Tree Day through moving all of the City’s 2000 trees to and from the four mall giveawy locations!

Of course registering your newly planted trees in the Million Tree Challenge was an important message on National Tree Day and many did register their new trees. If by chance you planted a tree during National Forest week and have not yet registered it, now is the perfect time to visit milliontrees.ca and get counted.

National Forest Week

Reforest London planted 1565 trees! On Sunday, September 18, 294 trees were planted at Greenway Park with Voices.com in memory of Nathan Deslippe a ReForest London volunteer. On Wednesday, September 21, 235 trees were planted at St. Robert Catholic Elementary School. On the Thursday of National forest Week, 221 trees were planted at Enterprise SWM funded by Harris Home Hardware who also helped plant along with students from St. Andre Bessette Catholic Secondary School. Friday, September 23, saw 390 trees planted at Marr Drain with Western Serves and on Saturday, September 24, the annual Multicultural planting with LCCLC & Nokee Kwe at Westmount Lions Park added 425 trees to London’s landscape.

Thank you London for caring about trees, planting them and registering them in the Million Tree Challenge and for making National Forest Week and National Tree Day such a big success in the Forest City.