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Father and Son are 1000+ in a Million

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge
Year: 
2015
Season: 
Spring
Location: 
Southeast

Keron Cover

With over eleven-hundred trees planted, London natives Jim Keron, and his son Rob Keron are dramatically demonstrating their part in helping London reach its goal of one million new trees. Jim and Rob are a reminder that London’s Million Tree Challenge not only calls on the participation of organizations, community groups, and neighbourhoods, but also individual residents. 
Jim and Rob Keron

For Jim, the importance of planting trees and maintaining the environment properly is understood from the adage that "we have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, but we are borrowing it from our children."Text box

Jim owns a property of fifty acres of deciduous wetlands, where thirty-five acres consist of swamp and fifteen of trees. His family had purchased the lot in 1946, and Jim feels duty-bound to conserve it as well as he can for it to be passed down the generations. 

For the past couple of years, the property has experienced damage by excessive water, so Jim has taken on a project to restore the environmental health of the forest with his son, Rob Keron. “We’re planting red maples, oaks, cottonwood, coffee trees, buckeye, sycamore, and tulip trees, to name a few,” said Jim.

Also in the deciduous forest are animals, including deer, beavers, and turkeys. “One time I went out to count the turkeys. I counted seventy-six,” said Rob. Although some saplings eventually become lunch for the animals, Jim and Rob try their best to block them off from the planted trees.

Jim admits that he has always been fascinated with trees. “When I was young, some kids collected stamps, and I collected leaves.” Rob, on the other hand, is a collector of trees. Rob studied forestry at Lakehead University and is a Registered Professional Forester.Jim and Rob with a cottonwood

A retired network analyst, Jim is currently finishing up his archaeology studies at Western University. After he completes his final dissertation, Jim plans to dedicate his full attention to the restoration project. “We’re planning to plant a hundred trees a year. The objective is to increase tree cover.”

Although Jim states that he never made it a goal to be on the Million Tree Challenge leaderboard, he has held the Top Planter position with the most trees planted since the challenge began in 2011 until just recently when Rob surpassed him with 635 new trees planted! Together, the Kerons are dominating the Top Planter positions having planted 1130 trees so far!

As forty percent of the plantable space in London is located on residential property, Jim and Rob’s efforts will hopefully inspire other individuals to undertake some kind of action to improve the city’s environmental health and leaf cover. The Million Tree Challenge is not simply a short-lived project for Londoners today, but it is a legacy to the future generations of London as well.

Story by Tiffany Zheng, photos by Sheila Creighton