Volunteer Spotlight – August 2022

Name: Janet Lawler
Volunteer Since: 2014
Roles: Community Liaison, Tree Specialist, Hike Leader

About Janet: I grew up in Toronto, where my childhood home was on the edge of a ravine. Maybe that’s when I first came to love trees so much; I spent many happy hours as a kid, wandering the nature trails behind my house. When I moved to London to attend Western University (for English Lit. and Film Studies), I was delighted to discover the multitude of parks and nature areas my new city had to offer. London has been my home ever since. During the many years I’ve lived here, I’ve had a variety of jobs, including working with young children and their families at a parent-child resource centre, and operating a toy lending library (an early version of “the sharing economy”). I’ve also worked in a number of book stores often promoting children’s books.

Why I Volunteer for ReForest London: A few years ago I decided I wanted to volunteer for an organization that made a positive difference to my community. I found out about ReForest London and realized it was a perfect fit for me! It gave me many great learning opportunities to discover more about trees and the ways we can use them to help make London a better, greener place to live. I liked the way I could share this knowledge and my love for trees with Londoners. Our many community liaison events provide a great opportunity to do this, and the tree depots and tree plantings enable me to help others learn about trees and which tree would be just right for them!

For me, an essential part about talking to people about ReForest London is sharing how much
trees matter to the health of our urban environment, and I’m happy to say that many Londoners do
seem to be becoming more and more aware of the importance of trees and their contribution to
our city’s environmental health. I could write more here about how significant trees play in this role—how they help clean the air, provide a home for pollinators, and so much more—but the simple fact is, I just love trees. In addition to all their environmental benefits, trees are beautiful and glorious, and they make us feel good. At the risk of sounding sappy (no pun intended), trees certainly make me happy, and I’m happy to volunteer for an organization like ReForest London that recognizes and celebrates their value.