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It's Kool To Plant Trees

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge

Mike Smith & Dean SheppardOn Friday, April 26, 2013, a beautiful 30 foot tall English Oak was planted in Victoria Park in honour of Joe Kool’s 30th anniversary. The tree is visible from Joe Kool’s Restaurant allowing patrons and staff to watch this commemorative donation grow. As part of this celebration, MTC Partner Joe Kool’s generously donated $500 to ReForest London in support of London’s Million Tree Challenge.

Mike Smith opened Joe Kool’s Restaurant on Richmond Street March 1, 1983 with the idea of having a friendly “no pretenses” eatery. He has long-achieved this goal with a diverse clientele and ‘landmark’ status on Richmond Row.

“The planting of this strong gracious tree in the central park of London, in our working neighbourhood, is quite simply a natural extension of the foundation of my environmental and business beliefs,” says Mike Smith. “To say thank you - to London and Londoners that continue to propel our success - with this tree is simply a reflection of our gratitude.”

Joe Kool’s is a seriously community-minded business. An avid environmental enthusiast, Mike Smith is the founder of London Clean & Green. Smith’s idea of a community clean-up program originated 18 years ago as a single-day event aimed at gathering volunteers to clean up garbage and remove graffiti in London’s downtown core. Since then, the event has grown to include thousands of volunteers, cover all areas of London, and involved a variety of organizations that share the same goal of a healthier, cleaner and greener city, including tree planting!

Joe Kool’s has a history of fundraising to do good things in the community. “It all started with Father Joe Nelligan over 25 years ago.” Joe Kool’s General Manager Ron Scarfone notes, “He was a kind man who came in soliciting donations to help children in the community. When he passed away our staff thought we should start our own charity. Employees who wish can contribute $1 from each paycheque which is matched by owner Mike Smith and each year we donate to community causes, mostly aimed at helping get kids into positive activities that they otherwise might be denied.”

“The tree in Victoria Park was planted primarily due to our ongoing London Clean & Green initiative.” Scarfone says, “Now, up to 10,000 volunteers, over two weeks help clean up litter and graffiti and also plant trees with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. We are the Forest City and with all the trees coming down, now more than ever we know we have to keep planting trees. All of us at Joe Kool’s felt it would be great for the city to get more trees in the ground.”Joe Kool's tree planting

Thank you Joe Kool’s for your commitment to being part of London's Million Tree Challenge and showing that it is Kool to plant trees!