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The Forest City's First Forest Festival!

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London's first Forest Festival was held on Saturday, August 19 to celebrate the role that trees and forests have played in our local, provincial and national history.

Growing Chefs! OntarioThe Forest Festival featured a number of different activities. Five hundred Londoners were treated to a "Forest of Flavours" BBQ by Growing Chefs! Ontario, featuring a number of dishes made from ingredients that grow on trees. Some examples were cherry BBQ sauce, lentil walnut burgers and potato salad with rosemary and sumac. It was all delicious!

"Food is a terrific way to help people connect with nature," said Kelsey Nicholls, the festival coordinator. "Our goal for this festival is for people to have the chance to connect with trees and the environment in fun and innovative ways, get them excited and seeing a vision of how our actions can contribute ot a greener, healthier city for all of us to live in."

Bird of Prey Show with Bald Eagle

Other activities included a tree identification hike along the Thames Valley Parkway trail, a raptor show by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, archery from The Hood Archery, face painting, a large art project from the London Arts Council and silk painting with the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

An “Ask an Arborist” area included CLC Tree Services and staff from the City of London helped to answer some Londoner’s more specific questions about trees and forests in our community. Lucky attendees even got to take home free trees to plant, and received help from ReForest London volunteers to pick out the right trees for their yard. A total of 300 trees found new homes that day!

Over 20 different organizations and vendors were in attendance, giving participants the chance to learn about other environmental issues and buy some tree- and plant-related products.

The Forest Festival is a fine example of what underpins the Ontario150 program,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “It brings people together to deepen their appreciation and respect for the natural resources we are so lucky to have in Ontario, and to celebrate environmental stewardship and sustainability. The Province is proud to support London’s inaugural Forest Festival, and over 650 other programs through the Ontario150 Community Celebration Program, creating important legacies for our future."

The event was made possible thanks to a number of funding soures, including the Government of Ontario, Ontario150, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Gosling Foundation, Healthy Kids Community Challenge, the City of London and London Life, the lead sponsor of ReForest London since 2009.



Air Dancer Bird profile
Scrabbling Poetry by the London Arts Council Christy at the Tree Depot
Dean with Mayor Matt Brown Kid Playing Game
Vulture Tree Depot
Firetruck Attendees with painted faces
Kaitlin and Vic Face painting
Singer Tree Depot Volunteers with Sue

The Hood Archery Jack 102.3