Volunteer Spotlight – November 2020

Name: Jenyvette Hsia        
Volunteer since: September, 2020
Roles: Tree Specialist, Tree Planter and Tree Aftercare Assistant

About Jenyvette: Hello My name is Jenyvette Hsia! I’m 14 years old and am currently in high school. When I was really little my mom would take me and my sister out to nature events including ReForest London tree plantings. I was also really lucky to be a part of a school community that gave me so many opportunities to do the things in and learn about nature. I developed a love for being outside, and being physically active outdoors in nature became my favourite pastime. I was fortunate to live beside a golf course and mini forest that was right behind our house. I used to play with my friends and my sister all the time in the forest and on the golf course we would spend hours building forts, climbing trees, building bridges over little streams and skating with our boots over the flooded wetlands when they froze in the winter.

Gardening is also huge part of my life, unlike our neighbours with mowed grass and rock gardens, my front yard was full of native perennials and vegetables. I would spend hours playing and caring for the garden. My family recently moved to a larger property, where there unfortunately are few mature trees. My dream for the near future is to naturalize the property with beautiful wetlands and food forests. I want a space for animals and plants to thrive (a wild wonderland)! Over time I expanded my knowledge on environmental issues and the plants and trees and animals I loved to play with. Caring for the land and all that call it home became my passion. I made huge changes to my lifestyle to lessen my impacts on the environment. In recent times being outdoors gardening, planting trees, caring for the land by cleaning up garbage on side roads and learning about plants and animals have become a huge stress reliever. Improving my land was not enough – I wanted to be able to help my community, too. 

Why she volunteers with ReForest London: I first got involved with ReForest London because I needed high school volunteer hours, I wanted to help the London community, I needed to get out of my house and accomplish something, and I was tired of seeing so many new developments in London with little thought to the animals and plants getting driven out their homes to make room for humans. My first volunteer experience this year was a tree planting. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by like-minded volunteers and incredible staff that were so great at sharing their knowledge and passion of caring for the environment! I signed up for more ReForest London events that, no surprise, I had so much fun at! I learned so many new skills in tree identification and naturalization that will no doubt open doors for me in the future. I was also inspired to sign up for more volunteering opportunities in London with other organizations. The incredible work ReForest London conducts each year is crucial in restoring London. Trees are my life. They are in my opinion the best investment a city could make in its future. Thank you ReForest London!