Volunteer Spotlight – July 2019

Name: Marg Szabo
Volunteer since: October 2014
Roles: Tree Specialist at Spring/Fall Tree planting events, Tree Depot Events, and Aftercare events

About Marg: I was born and raised here in the city, and spent my childhood growing up in old north London.  At that time most of the city’s core streets were lined with rows of majestic mature trees – main streets like Central and Queens had canopies of trees over their roadways.  It looked amazing.  Our own yard had several mature trees, and I acquired my love of trees from that time.  After graduating from Western, I went on to mostly administrative roles in for-profit and non-profit organizations.  Later on, I turned to marketing and promotional writing, and I also love photographing nature.  I’ve had a passion for all aspects of nature for as long as I can remember.  Its beauty and complexity continually inspire me and at the same time ground me.  For the past year and a half I sat on the City of London’s Trees and Forests Advisory Committee doing what I could to protect London’s trees, especially the older ones. 

Why Marg volunteers with ReForest London: Witnessing the large numbers of trees that were being cut down year after year throughout the core areas of the city, I started to become very concerned. London was known as the Forest City, and was indeed that when I was a kid with large trees everywhere, but eventually the urban forest was fast disappearing. I wanted to do what I could to turn the tide around. I had heard about Reforest London back when they first started, and I remember visiting their kiosk at an environmental fair in White Oaks Mall several years ago.  In the fall of 2014, I finally jumped onboard. I remember my first event: It was the last fall planting of the season. The weather was quite chilly and the ground was hard clay, so hard in fact that I couldn’t get my shovel to penetrate the soil even when I jumped on it.  I knew I would have to build some muscle. One thing I could do was collar the trees and that’s something I’ve enjoyed doing ever since. I took the Tree Specialist training and have been helping out at tree plantings, aftercare, and also at tree depots helping people pick out that special tree for their yard. I love volunteering with a group that has such a passion for trees and for putting the “forest” back in to the Forest City.