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London Life Helps Keep the Forest in the Forest City

Project type: 

London Life

London Life has been a strong supporter of a greener city since 2009 through their role as Lead Sponsor of ReForest London. We could not do what we do without this dedicated backing, and recently, ReForest London asked London Life to describe just how mutually beneficial this ongoing relationship is.

London Life planting 2015 London Life planting 2015
London Life employees and family planitng, 2015 
Planting on London Life property, 2015 

Why is London Life a Community Supporter?
“As an organization with a long history both in London and Canada, we have a responsibility to give back and help build stronger communities,” said Jen MacRae, Senior Program Manager, Community Relations. “We do this by working together with organizations on initiatives that target both local and national priorities to improve health outcomes, expand access to the arts, fund important social services, promote the development of communities, and enable access to education.”

Why ReForest London?
“With a focus on improving the financial, physical, and mental well-being of all Canadians, our company seeks out organizations like ReForest London to create lasting, positive change for our communities,” said Jen MacRae. “ReForest London continues to challenge us as a city to take action today that will benefit all of us for decades to come. They’re a leader in enhancing environmental and human health, not just locally, but across the country, and even throughout North America. We value their leadership, innovation, and ability to mobilize the community to act.”

How do London Life employees feel about annual tree planting with ReForest London?
“It’s terrific! Our family tries to participate every year,” said Jacqueline Peskett, Business Intelligence Specialist, Group Retirement Services. “Having this event organized for staff is wonderful and makes it that much easier to get involved in such an important initiative. Our children ask about this event every year. A healthy environment is very important to our family and this initiative is a ‘hands on’ way for families to help improve our communities and see the fruits of our efforts immediately! Thanks for the opportunity.”

 London Life planting  London Life planting
 London Life planting, 2015
 London Life employees & famililes at Walker Creek, 2016

How do you promote tree planting to employees?
“We’ve been pleased to offer seedling giveaways on a number of occasions to employees in our Dufferin Ave. building and at our tree-planting events,” remarked Jen MacRae. “We also offer a number of opportunities for our employees to engage in community initiatives through our annual United Way Campaign, food drive, winter wear drive, school supplies drive, and holiday toy drive.”

Why do you plant trees on your own property?
“Planting trees on our property is important for a few reasons,” said Mary June Clancy, Facilities Manager. “From an environmental perspective, trees help counter the ‘heat island’ effect outside our building where concrete and asphalt store thermal energy. Tree shade can help prevent heat islands from forming and reduce the air temperature in these areas. Trees also slow storm-water runoff by capturing and intercepting rainwater with their leaves.”

“From a health and aesthetic point of view, trees produce oxygen, improve air quality and enhance respiratory health. Incorporated into the landscape plan, trees look great and provide inviting, calming and cool areas for relaxation for employees and visitors,” noted Mary June Clancy. “As far as infrastructure and property value benefits go, the added protection of shade from trees can mean costs savings by decreasing the need to resurface hard surfaces such as pavement as often.”

London Life at Walker Creek London Life at Walker Creek
London Life planting at Walker Creek, 2016
Walker Creek planting with London Life, 2016

Do you know you’re helping protect the Forest City brand?
“Most people are familiar with our Dufferin Avenue head office,” said Jen MacRae, “but we have a number of locations where our employees operate throughout the Forest City. Our Property Management team is purposeful in planning how trees benefit our footprint within the Forest City. From ‘greening up’ a full city block downtown, to providing natural green buffers around our properties located in industrial areas, we’ve often consulted with ReForest London to understand how we can have the most meaningful impact to London’s tree cover.”

Would you like to share a ‘tree story’?
“The first time my daughter came out to help plant trees, she complained 5 minutes in that she was “tired of this dirt”, then sat on an overturned bucket for the 3 hours, singing tree-planting songs to us through tears while we dug,” said Jen MacRae. “Fast forward to 2017, when she enthusiastically assumed worm duty, making sure every worm was safely rehomed after we displaced them with our shovels. It was slow going, but she had a much more positive experience – very important for developing the next generation of tree planters!”

Any other comments?
“ReForest London makes it easy to have immediate environmental impact,” remarked Jen MacRae. “They’re a team of passionate, effective individuals who have refined the volunteer experience so that people of all ages and abilities can get involved in the way that works best for them.”

Thank you London Life for caring about your community. We are grateful for your support and think London Life is tree-mendous!