Volunteer Spotlight – May 2023

Name: Cassie Getty
Volunteer Since: 2021
Roles: Tree Planter, Aftercare Assistant and Community LiaisonI enjoy ReForest London as volunteers can work in several different ways to help make the city a more beautiful and environmentally resilient place by increasing tree cover. Since moving to London, I had noticed RFL out and about in the community, often for their tree giveaway events at Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village.
If you’re like me, you see and hear in the media about climate change, pollution, and habitat loss, and these problems can feel insurmountable. There are many things we can and must do to turn this around. With tree planting and aftercare you can see and quantify your ongoing contribution. And many small endeavours add up to major change.
 Native species trees are crucial for our birds and other animals and serve as larval hosts for hundreds of insects, which are helpful and often fantastic (butterflies). As a volunteer, I like to pass on information and am heartened when people are enthusiastic about welcoming a new tree into their space. RFL is a wonderful cause.
Planting or giving away trees, and acting as a liaison, you meet a lot of people. This is fun and I’ve learned a lot, and it’s encouraging to hear stories of people helping out and enjoying nature. Caring for nature—whether it be in your yard, neighbourhood, or city—is a really impactful activity that family members can do together.
Our Carolinian zone of Southwestern Ontario is one of the most fertile, biodiverse areas of Canada, and is very important to safeguard. I grew up visiting places like Point Pelee and learned that we’re very lucky to live in such ecological richness. Volunteering keeps me in this mindset and allows me to hopefully communicate this feeling to others.
The great sense of community—with the staff and the public—and learning are the best parts. ReForest London has encouraged me to take bigger steps outside of volunteering, such as rewilding my yard, sharing seeds and plants with friends, and becoming more politically active in environmental issues.

Thank you, Cassie!