Our Park Naturalizations program seeks to improve biodiversity, increase forest cover, and create new habitat for pollinators and wildlife in London’s parks and public spaces. Each spring and fall, Londoners from all ages and backgrounds come together to plant trees with the help of our staff and Tree Specialist volunteer leaders. Planting trees in parks not only improves biodiversity but also improves air and water quality, increases shade and opportunities for recreation, and contributes to safer, healthier and more beautiful neighbourhoods.
Why We Plant in Parks
Enhance Our Environment
Park naturalization projects improve biodiversity by increasing the abundance, types and sizes of ground plants, shrubs and trees. This provides a greater variety of habitats for wildlife such as birds and pollinators to thrive. Structural and biological diversity are important elements of overall ecosystem health.
Trees also help to clean our drinking water and reduce flooding. They absorb water from rainfall and runoff and allow it to slowly enter the ground, which refills the aquifers that provide us with drinking water.
By absorbing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen back into the air, they not only help us breathe, but also help to stop the effects of climate change. In fact, one large tree replaces enough polluted air for 4 people to breathe in one day, and one hectare of trees absorbs more than 3 metric tonnes of carbon per year!
Empower the Community
Park naturalizations also strengthen the nature-culture connection. By involving people directly in planting trees, they become more aware of their role as members of a larger community that is committed to creating a sustainable future. Planting a large number of trees on a modest budget cannot happen without the dedication of volunteers.
Our tree planting events draw individuals, families, community groups and students (wishing to fulfill their community service requirements). Tree planting is also a great team-building activity for employee groups and service clubs who are seeking opportunities for community involvement.
Thank you to all our fellow Londoners who help us strive to make London a healthier, greener city!
Enrich Our Quality of Life
In addition to these environmental and community benefits, trees enrich our quality of life. Trees lead to better health and less stress, they encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic which improves a sense of safety, and they look great!
Many people have strong, positive, and formative memories of playing in the woods as a child. Planting trees today helps to ensure there are forests for future generations to explore and enjoy.
Trees are also crucial when attracting people to our city, both as tourists and as new community members. London’s reputation as the “Forest City” is part of what distinguishes our city, and we believe that people will continue to participate enthusiastically to create a legacy for a sustainable future.
Attending a Planting Event
Please check our Events page for up-to-date information on plantings in the spring or fall.
For information regarding our Park Naturalization program, please contact our Planting Programs Manager Dan Marina at [email protected] or 519-936-9548 x 225