Volunteer Spotlight – May 2014

Name: Geoff Faul
Volunteer Since: 2011
Volunteers As: Tree Sale organizer and Volunteer, Action Team Member, Steering Committee member, Community Liaison, Tree Planter

Autobiography: I began volunteering with ReForest London in 2011, when Lambeth Community Association became a Million Tree Challenge partner. Over the past three years, ReForest London has provided opportunities to participate and even organize community tree give-aways and sales, publicize tree-planting and tree-planting events and participate on a task team and strategic planning committee.

In years past, my wife, son and I planted trees in London in the late ‘90s, as part of a Scouts Canada program, but work and other commitments pulled me away from tree projects. Then, in 2009, Lambeth Community Association distributed a hundred oak trees, to be planted in Lambeth & area as part of the community’s Bicentennial celebration and shortly after that, the Association became a formal partner of London’s Million Tree Challenge.

Reflection on Volunteering: I came late to volunteering. Most of my career with the federal government entailed travel, but in the past few years and especially since I retired, I have enjoyed the freedom to take advantage of opportunities, like volunteering within my community. Working on the Million Tree Challenge with ReForest London has been particularly satisfying at several levels.

Planting a tree is a simple task, yet one that carries profound implications for the beauty of the city, the health of its residents, the well-being of the local environment and the strengthening of connections amongst friends and neighbours. It’s a straightforward volunteer project that provided immediate reward for effort, then provides years, decades even, of quiet satisfaction, watching saplings grow to become strong, beautiful place-markers on the landscape.

The connections to the people at ReForest London are equally gratifying. The people who choose to help build up London’s forest canopy cut across all of London’s socio-economic patterns and strata, and the desire to leave a canopy legacy for future generations brings people together – an array of skills and talents are needed and put to practical use – creating friendships, appreciation for one another and the camaraderie that is so closely associated with “getting one’s hands dirty” in a good cause, in the company of good people!

Thanks for your continued support Geoff!