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Creative Partner Finds Creative Ways to Help

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge
Year: 
2017

Million Tree Challenge Partners Wizards of Video are a powerhouse of support for ReForest London and the Million Tree Challenge.

Kate holding Kentucky coffee treesSince ReForest London’s early days, Kate and Geoff Rhodes, who own and operate Wizards of Video, have been strong supporters of getting more trees planted in London. It is a labour of love for this couple. “ReForest London has just been such a big part of us for over ten years now, it’s just awesome.” Kate said, “We need way more trees in London and we’re happy to help.”Geoff taping at 2008 VMP planting

Kate and Geoff have helped in many ways. Here are a few examples of just how devoted they are to making London a greener, healthier city for everyone.

Wizards of Video has set an example of creative in-kind support and have created several videos
over the years to promote both ReForest London and the Million Tree Challenge – see a video they produced about London’s Million Tree Challenge below.

It is a great support to ReForest London and the Million Tree Challenge when creative Partners donate their services in-kind to help promote the important work of greening up London with trees.

Over the years, both Kate and Geoff have gotten their hands dirty planting trees at many different naturalization projects and even at an early ReLeaf planting initiative in Glen Cairn where homeowners received trees planted in their yards. Volunteering is another excellent way to show your support for tree planting in London and there are always lots of volunteer opportunities including team building experiences and ‘ReLeaf blitz and depot initiatives’.  Geoff & Kate Rhodes at Glen Cairn planting

Helping to spread the word about the benefits of planting trees and London’s Million Tree Challenge to people and businesses is something that Kate and Geoff have been doing for many years both in person and on social media. “We get to work with a lot of different businesses in London,” Kate said, “so it’s really easy for us to be right there in their workplace and say 'hey have you guys done anything with ReForest London yet?' Especially with the Business Achievement Awards since a lot of what these businesses are finalists for, is their community involvement. And I’m like 'I don’t see you volunteering for ReForest yet.'” 

Baby Sycamore & Coffee treesBeing a ‘tree foster’- directly growing up little trees from seedlings or seed - is a practical and amazing way to help get more trees planted in London.  In 2016, Kate and Geoff grew up many baby native trees in their backyard - including Sycamore, Kentucky Coffee and  Oaks - and donated them to ReForest London to include in naturalization plantings. Last October, these baby trees were planted in Dingman Park. “If you have a bit of property, you can do this too,” said Kate, “you don’t have to start from seed, you can also get some seedlings. They just need some water, some sun and some love.” 

MTC Partners, especially Partners who are businesses with some land or into landscaping, might find tree fostering a great way to help the Million Tree Challenge. As long as the trees are not on the invasive species list (see more info on invasive species here) and are least a foot tall, we welcome them for naturalization plantings. 

And if all this support and help over the years was not enough, starting in the spring, Kate and Geoff will be doing even more to help trees in London. They will be adopting a ReForest London naturalization planted last fall to do aftercare on. “There is a planting right down the street from us and we can be there in the evenings,” Geoff said, “We can walk there in five minutes but will take the truck and some mulch from Davey Tree. We’ll mulch, weed and make sure they’re staked okay and if any of the trees start getting stressed from dryness we can take water over in the truck and water them. None of it’s going to be difficult.”

If you are a business, organization or group and would be interested in adopting a ReForest London naturalization planting to do ongoing aftercare on, please contact Kaitlin Richardson at kaitlin@reforestlondon.ca. 

As you can see, Kate and Geoff Rhodes of Wizards of Video really love trees and have found many ways to make a difference. These two are an inspiration to others who would like to help get more trees in London – figure out something that works for you and go for it. If you offer a creative service, perhaps you have creative ideas for how you can donate in-kind to the Million Tree Challenge.