Volunteer Spotlight – February 2016

Name: Suzie Belleville
Volunteer since: 2015
Roles: Tree Guru, Community Liaison, Tree cycle, Tree planter

Autobiography: I was born & raised in Fort Erie ON (by Niagara Falls) and then moved to London. It was a big change from a small town to a bigger city with more opportunities for work & volunteering. Ended up working in the insurance industry (property & casualty) for over 15 yrs and received my A.I.I.C. & C.I.P. designation. Got a nice home and live with my husband and my two fur children (Jaxon & Jace – purrrrfect cats). I love to volunteer with various organizations such as: London Food Bank, Salvation Army and I’m a continuous donor at the Canadian Blood/Plasma clinic.

Reflections on Volunteering: I enjoyed spending time in my backyard as it has a big view onto a forest. Took on the task of gardening my whole back yard to the extent that there is now no grass. Became familiar with perennials, annuals, shrubs … and you guessed it “trees”. I always love how the trees would show themselves off within each season.

Started to help out my neighbours with their yards which lead me to ReForest London. You see the funny thing about me getting involved with ReForest London was that I needed to get rid of some buckthorn trees. ReForest London lent me a weed wrench to remove them. I got more involved with ReForest London to find out what trees were bad, what trees were good, what grows better in different location, etc.

Once I attended their training sessions and continued to get exposed to the wonderful world of trees …. I got hooked. Can’t seem to stop talking about them & encouraging people to expand their yards to include trees. Being part of their “Million Tree Challenge” and getting more people involved in this task. London is know for being the “Forest City”, so it’s a great way to get the community involved and actually doing some “hands on” volunteering with the many “tree planting” events. They are a lot of fun. Lots of people with the same mission & interest working together as a team and changing the landscape all over London.