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ReForest London Newsletter
Celebrating 10 Years with Sean Ibbott
In 2005, Sean Ibbott participated in ReForest London’s first ever naturalization planting that happened at Gibbon’s Park, with his brother, Liam and father, Peter. Sean was seven years old at the time. Now, ten years later, Sean revisited the site of the first tree he ever planted, in tune with marking the tenth anniversary of ReForest London.
The trembling aspen tree that Sean had planted in 2005 has grown to be a large and healthy tree overlooking the tennis courts of the park. The then and now of the whole planting project from ten years ago is astounding to see. The new trees have improved the health of the park, providing cleaner air, shade, and park beautification.
For Sean, the importance of trees is self-evident. “First and foremost, trees help us survive,” said Sean. Although he is not much of a climber himself, Sean said that trees are also for climbing. “If you can get to the topmost branch, you can see a great view.”
Sean is a grade eleven student at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School. His family moved to London fourteen years ago, when he was three years old. Sean is very active in many sports, including cross-country, soccer, and hockey. After high school, Sean aspires to study urban planning, continuing his involvement with trees by being able to make important decisions about where trees are planted.
“I want to allocate what’s green space, what’s residential space, and what’s commercial space. I want to be the one who makes those important decisions for the city,” said Sean.
Sean believes a city should have affordable housing and clean parks, such as London. He is not sure as of yet where he wants to live when he is older, but values the “small-town feel” of London.
One of Sean’s hobbies is biking around Gibbon’s Park with his friends. “I like biking here because the river pathways are the nicest and safest in the city,” said Sean. As an avid runner, he also knows the benefits of running in a park, with lots of trees around. “There’s more oxygen, less wind, and it feels nicer,” said Sean. “You almost feel like you can go faster.”
As well, he believes the same idea is true for playing soccer. He prefers to play on fields with many trees around, because he enjoys being able to hear the birds. “I feel calmer,” said Sean.
Sean still participates in tree plantings when he can. He participated in ReForest London’s interfaith planting at Meadowgate Park in 2014, and plans to do more in the future.
“I want to make the city a better place,” said the seventeen-year-old, who understands the community and health benefits of a well-forested city. Sean's passion for the environment and his drive to make change is part of ReForest London's success, and we are proud to include him in our 10th anniversary celebrations.