Volunteer Spotlight – November 2018

Name: Kate Fraser (pictured, left)
Roles: Tree Specialist, Photographer, Tree Planter, Tree Aftercare Assistant
Volunteer since: June 2016

About Kate: Hi everyone! My name is Kate Fraser, I have three middle names that are all flowers so as you can see I was truly born into the landscaping industry. I moved to London from Sauble Beach area to find work as a young professional. I chose London for the great mix of small town and big city. I love to be in nature, whether it be deep in the forest or at home with my hands in the garden. I found London to be a great choice because of the Thames trail going all the way through the city and how there are even parks in the downtown core. I am still very happy to live in London and help take action for our future today by volunteering with Reforest London. I have some hobbies that all tie back to nature in one way or another. I do wildlife and landscape photography, do pressed flower work and I made my very first vegetable garden this year that I was rather proud of as well. Long story short, in my free time you can find me where the wild things are!

Why Kate volunteers with ReForest London: I got involved with Reforest London after learning about a tree planting event in 2016 through my job at TD Canada Trust. I thought this would be a great way to meet like minded individuals who are interested in shaping a sustainable future. I wanted to spend more time outside working as this was a big part of my life as my mother is a landscape artist. As I was renting, I didn’t have much freedom for gardening so this was really exciting to me. I loved being able to help with Reforest London’s goal of creating an urban forest strategy. I had such a great time at the event that I couldn’t wait for the next. I wanted to get more involved so I learned that through my work there was a volunteer grant program available that if I volunteered 40+ hours with them in one year TD would be able to donate $500.00 to their organization on my behalf. Although I may not be able to afford to donate, I work with an organization that takes part in many initiatives to create a more vibrant planet. I thought that this was amazing. I recently completed this goal and am proud to be able to make more of an impact on helping to green where we live.

One of my favourite parts about Reforest London is that they address multiple environmental concerns in different ways and approach the community with many different events to appeal to all demographics. For example, we know that lot of the land in London is residential so they host multiple events that encourages Londoners to plant trees on their own lawn. They host tree depots, tree blitzes, and sponsored trees. I have taken part in 7 tree planting events and at each planting we plant around 200 trees together so if we do the math that is around 1400 trees that I have helped get in the ground this year alone. A full grown tree creates enough oxygen that 10 people require to breathe in a year so thats enough clean air for 14,000 people to breathe and that is something to be proud of!

I have learned a lot with Reforest London and am now a “Tree Specialist” and can now identify 10x as many trees as before! I have learned so much about trees and landscaping with them that I am now able to pass on to friends and family. I would proudly consider myself an ambassador for Reforest London as well because I take time to share with friends and coworkers and anyone that I meet about the work that I contribute to with Reforest London. I am proud to say that southwestern Ontario has the most biodiverse forest thanks to the careful planning of their team of employees and volunteers. Join me and many volunteers of all ages who are helping to increase canopy cover in the city of London by expanding on the existing forest’s edge or by picking up tree for yourself at any of their events! 

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit about why I love to volunteer with Reforest London and if you’d like to check out some of the initiatives that TD has take a look at #TheReadyCommitment and #VibrantPlanet. You can find my photography on instagram at @Kayfras519