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A Wonderful Week For Trees in the Forest City

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge

NFW banner on Wellington road

One thing we know for sure is that Londoners love trees and every year, during one particular week, it is evident for all to see! That special time is National Forest Week and if any community should embrace this celebration of trees, it’s the Forest City.

Held annually, the last full week of September, National Forest Week 2019 ran from September 22- 28, with National Tree Day being celebrated on the Wednesday of the week. Not only is this a great time to get a tree or seedling to plant in your yard, it is a great week for other tree-related activities too. We kicked the week off by hosting a tree depot at the Emancipation Day Celebration on the Sunday where many nice native trees found new homes.Stax, Eiman and Phil at Mitsubishi

In honour of National Forest Week, Robinson Mitsubishi hosted a launch event at the dealership on Monday with the support of several other businesses including M&T Printing Group, Bridlewood Homes, London East Lions Club, TRY Recycling, The Better Bin Company, Don Adams and the Komoka Kings, Merit Group, 101.3 Easy, Jack102.3.and music by Captain and Toad

This year, in Partnership with MTC partners Robinson Mitsubishi, we developed a fun Tree-mobile promotion to stop at different places around London and give out ‘tree kits’ to people. So part of our National Forest Week launch party was also the first location of the Tree-mobile. Many people came out to enjoy a mini tree depot, music and refreshments even though the weather was a bit windy and rainy. This event attracted a new audience as well with two live radio remotes contributing to that.Thanks also to Lowe's for the discount on our mulch/watering buckets. Big thanks to Bobbi Mahon from Robinson Mitsubishi who devoted her whole week to helping with the Tree-mobile promotion as well as volunteer extraordinaire, Don Adams who also assisted in getting trees to people, and to ReForest London volunteers who helped each day, including Eiman Mohammad who assisted all week!
National Forest Week launch
As working with youth is so very important, and this special week is no exception, on the Monday we did two Site Planning Workshops, one at Byron Somerset Public School and the other at East Carling Public School where students learned about trees, the urban forest and soil testing for their schoolyard.

Also on the Monday, we held the fall Tree Cycle event at ReForest London’s office – this is when homeowners can pot up non-invasive “volunteer” trees that have grown in their yards and donate them to be planted in fall plantings around the city.

Many businesses helped promote our Tree-mobile promotion and on the Tuesday of National Forest Week we visited the new Silverleaf subdivision by York Developments, with some homes by Bridlewood Homes and assistance from Lighthouse Landscape. Thanks also to Magazine Lationo! for coming out to cove the event. Robinson Mitsubishi and M&T Printing Group sent out 12,000 postcards to area homes about the Tree-mobile promotion and many people who either got a card in the mail or happened to be passing by, stopped in to pick up a tree kit. Each tree kit contained a beautiful 3-7’ native or fruit tree, plus a watering bucket full of mulch, a tree collar to protect the young tree and a ReForest London hat.  The tree kits were a big hit with people and many already knew about trickle watering young trees with a bucket – which was encouraging to ReForest London staff and volunteers.

Rick Postma at Exeter Road Tree DepotThe Wednesday of National Forest Week is National Tree Day and the big day for tree and seedling giveaways in London. The City of London – founding Partner in London’s Million Tree Challenge – hosted three large tree depots again this year and Million Tree Challenge Partners and supporters gave away over 1,000 native tree seedlings from their locations. ReForest London also hosted a tree depot, sponsored by STIHL Canada for the third year in row!

Western University seedling giveawayThis year, we had several repeat supporters that we are most grateful for. Scotiabank has been part of National Tree Day for many years and gave away seedlings to their customers at all 12 of their London branches. Western University has also been involved for many years and this year held two seedling giveaways on campus. MPP Peggy Sattler has also been supportive of National Tree Day for many years and this year was no exception as she held a giveaway at her constituency office. Goodwill, also a longtime supporter, gave away seedlings at six London locations and the Friends of the Civic Garden Complex again supported this big day for trees.

The City of London’s large tree depots which are co-hosted with ReForest London were again a big hit with Londoners who lined up to get the perfect trees for their yards. The City, in conjunction with ReForest London gave away over 2,400 trees in one day with the immense help of City staff and ReForest London staff and volunteers. This is such a feel good event tht everyone involved has a grea time. It is always great to hear nice comments from Londoners about the City's tree depots!Couple getting trees at City's Tree Depot

On National Tree Day, ReForest London also hosted a planting event with students from Montessori Academy London at Cantebury Park with Harris Home Hardware and support from Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Thursday and Friday saw the Tree-mobile stop at ReForest London’s office and Victoria Park. Both locations were well attended and many more tree kits were given away to happy Londoners. The weather was lovely which made the experience a good one. We noticed an increase in young families wanting trees to plant in their yards.

Thank you to everyone who made National Forest Week 2019 a big success. Our city got a whole lot greener in just one day. We will again be celebrating National Forest week and National Tree Day in 2020 in support of London’s Million Tree Challenge with an even bigger and better celebration week for all of the tree lovers who call the Forest City home!

 STIHL sponsorser Tree depot  Happy tree recipients
 young boy at Tree mobile  Family with trees
tree mobile at Victoria Park