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Earmarked For Trees

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge
Year: 
2018

Local real estate agent Marla Marnoch recently became a Partner in London’s Million Tree Challenge and added helping London’s environment to her portfolio of the social enterprise real estate business she runs called Earmark.ca. ReForest London is now a “change-maker” in this unique win-win-win way to donate money to community initiatives.
Marla Marnoch
If you choose ReForest London to be your change-maker of choice for your donation through Earmark.ca, because we are a charitable organization, we will issue you personally a tax receipt for your directed donation! This tax receipt could be a significant amount depending on the sale price of the home.

Earmark.ca is such a great fit of real estate and trees. Trees are an important part of any home – they make your property worth more, they lower heating and cooling costs, they provide much-needed shade, they aid with flood prevention and they look great.

ReForest London recently did a Q&A with Marla to learn more about Earmark.ca and how this great new social enterprise came to be, how it works and how anyone buying or selling a home can donate part of Marla’s commission to have more trees planted in the Forest City.
Earmark logo
ReForest London:  Please tell me about your background Marla, and how Earmark.ca came about?

Marla Marnoch:  My education is in urban planning and community development, and the concepts of neighbourhoods, community and community building have always been important to me. When I moved to London seven years ago with my husband and two daughters, I began exploring London’s diverse neighbourhoods, and connecting with people who were doing amazing community-building work – the “change-makers” who are making their neighbourhoods and this city exciting, vibrant places. At the same time, I was starting my real estate career, and I knew I wanted to support their efforts. In March 2017, I launched Earmark – a social enterprise that “earmarks” revenue from real estate commissions for donation to community-building projects.

RFL: What does social enterprise mean to you and your business?

MM: Social enterprise allows me to combine my two passions: community building and real estate. It allows me and my clients to work with the change-makers who are creating an impact in London. It’s a shared interest with my clients, who want to use the biggest financial transactions in their lives to improve their communities, which, in turn, protects their investment – helping to build a great neighbourhood increases the value of their home.

RFL: Why is it important to you to give back to the community?

MM:  I see communities as the canvas of our lives. Giving back to our communities, sharing our talents – this connects us to the people and places around us, and creates a sense of belonging. I think this connection and participation is good for everyone and is fundamental to leading a fulfilling life.

RFL: Why do you feel ReForest London makes a good change-maker?

MM:  In 2013, I did an informal survey asking what people what they loved about their neighbourhoods. The top answer? Trees. For me, it’s wonderful synchronicity now working with ReForest London. Trees add beauty and value to a property, and planting a tree is a perfect metaphor – you’re quite literally planting roots in your community. And I love the communal aspect of ReForest London’s neighbourhood tree-planting activity.
Marla's survey
RFL: Planting more trees in London will help the entire community – especially in the future. Does this universal aspect have any bearing on your support of making London greener?

MM: Of course! As they say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” A greener London benefits everyone by creating a healthier and more beautiful city that enhances the quality of life for all residents.

RFL: As a community builder, do you feel that trees are an important aspect in building healthier communities?

MM: Trees contribute to healthy communities in so many ways. They clean our air, help filter water and assist in rain runoff. They’re an essential aspect of walkable neighbourhoods promoting an active lifestyle. They add beauty, and have been shown to help reduce stress. And that’s just some of the many benefits of trees.

RFL: Can you explain the process, step by step?

MM: The first step is the most important in the Earmark process: choose to contribute to your community through your real estate transaction. Then choose the change-maker you want to support. I’ve outlined a number on Earmark.ca, but you can support other change-makers. Once you’ve made your move, your donation – which is 20% of the Earmark REALTOR®’s real estate commission – will be given to the organization or project you’ve chosen. You’ll help a favourite project, benefit your community, and become part of the Earmark movement with others who are making a difference in London in this unique way.

RFL: Is this only for home buyers?

MM: No, it’s for buyers and sellers. So if you’re both buying and selling, you’ll get two Earmark rebates – one for the home purchase and the second for the home sale.

RFL: Thank you for being a Million Tree Challenge Partner. What would you say to other businesses about London’s Million Tree Challenge and how they could help?

MM: Trees are essential in so many ways, and there are many ways you can participate in the Million Tree Challenge. Find one that resonates with you, and get started.

RFL: Is there anything else you would like people to know about yourself or Earmark.ca?

MM: I’m passionate about community building, and I’m excited to have this easy way for others to get engaged and invested in their neighbourhood. You can see some of the change-makers, and the projects others have supported, at Earmark.ca.

Thank you Marla Marnoch for your excellent social enterprise and community building and if anyone reading this is thinking of buying a home, please check out what Earmark.ca can do for you. Tell all your friends and family too about this win-win-win opportunity.