Volunteer Spotlight⁠ – September 2022

Name: Johanna de Haan-Ward
Volunteer Since: 2020
Roles: Tree Specialist & Tree Planter

Johanna’s Background:
I spent summers between semesters in my undergraduate years working for Parks Canada, which is where I gained a love for trees, plants, and gardening. When I moved to London for graduate school I was thrilled with the amount of greenspace and forest trails in the city, and I wanted to know more about these Carolinian tree species that I had never seen before. 

I started dropping in to ReForest London planting events as a volunteer in 2020 to get outside and meet people while working from home. I really enjoyed volunteering at these events, so when the opportunity came up in 2022 to become a Core Volunteer and later a Tree Specialist, I signed up for training right away. 

Why Johanna volunteers with ReForest London:
I love spending time outside, and through the many events I have attended, I have learned about some of the wonderful outdoor spaces and parks in London that I probably would not have visited otherwise. Living without a garden, I’m grateful for the chance to spend time working in the soil. I also really enjoy meeting others from London who are passionate about the outdoors.

The wealth of outdoor spaces in London have become my favourite part about living here, and I like that I’m able to contribute to improving these spaces in a small way. Through the tree specialist training I have learned so much about the trees in this area, and now when I run through London I try to identify the species around me.