Donate to ReForest London

Help support our programs and keep the forest in "The Forest City"!


ReForest London Newsletter

Keep up to date with ReForest London

Schoolyard Greening gets a Boost

Students at Holy Family School and nine other London schools will enjoy shadier playgrounds, thanks to a new CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up grant.  Students, CN officials, elected officials, and partners from Tree Canada and ReForest London celebrated the grant at Holy Family Catholic School.

ReForest London is one of the 25 recipients of the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program.

The program’s objective is to promote the greening of municipal properties across Canada, especially areas in close proximity to rail lines. CN EcoConnexions, with its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, is helping Canadian municipalities establish tree planting initiatives in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner.

“CN’s comprehensive sustainability agenda goes beyond making our own operations as fuel efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.  We also aim to support sustainability initiatives in the communities we serve,” said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN.  “The EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program is an excellent example of CN and communities working together to mutually promote these goals.”

“CN has led the way in connecting Canadians for close to a century,” says Tree Canada President
Michael Rosen. “Through opportunities like From the Ground Up, CN is helping municipalities and First Nations communities improve our national landscape for future generations to enjoy. Tree Canada is honoured to be a part of this fantastic initiative.”

The project at Holy Family created an outdoor classroom: a horseshoe shaped pattern of trees and shrubs forms the walls of the classroom, and a ring of either logs or stones creates the seating. The project was completed today with the planting of two redbud trees. Participating in the event were Tony D’Oria, Principal, Holy Family students, Brett Jury, Superintendent, CN, Mike Rosen, President, Tree Canada, Councillor Bill Armstrong, City of London, Teresa Armstrong, MPP London Fanshawe, Shawn Lewis, assistant to MP Irene Mathyssen, and several ReForest London staff.

Creating natural spaces in schoolyards has many benefits for students and the wider community. There is an abundance of evidence that creating natural spaces in school yards leads to more active and more creative play, reduces aggression, reduces symptoms of ADHD, and encourages even those children who are less active to participate in a more cooperative way. Trees also shade children from harmful UV rays, and reduce air temperatures both outside and inside. Additionally, since school grounds often serve as public park space, improving the school yard improves the health and communities of the neighbourhoods that surround them.

ReForest London received $14,000 to work with schools to plant trees in schoolyards. The funding will be used to plant large shade trees.  In addition to the planting at Holy Family, ReForest London is planting trees at St. Paul Catholic School, St. Robert Catholic School, and Matthews Hall. Schools interested in trees for their schoolyard in the fall are encouraged to contact ReForest London.

“It's exciting to see a company like CN getting involved in such a tangible way in the communities they operate in,” said Dean Sheppard, Executive Director of ReForest London. We hope other companies will also realize that investing in the community is good for business. Partnering with Tree Canada is an easy and powerful way to do that.”