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ReForest London Newsletter
Ten London Schools Green Up with ReForest London
ReForest London is teaming up with ten London schools this spring to plant 50 large shade trees and 180 shrubs in the schoolyard. At each project, the students are directly involved in the planning, planting, and aftercare of their new trees.
“These projects create new learning spaces for children, a great place to play, and a shady spot for the neighbouring community to gather in the evenings and weekends,” said Julie Ryan, Executive Director of ReForest London.
At each school, students plant an outdoor classroom. An outdoor classroom is a semi-circle of trees and shrubs designed by landscape architect and ReForest London Project Leader Gabi Sanio. Seating of stones or logs are placed to allow the children to sit for a lesson or to play on at recess. The logs are cut and donated by Norm’s Tree Service, and the stones are provided at cost by Blue-Con Construction.
The schools involved are St. Martins Catholic School, Arthur Stringer Public School, Clara Brenton Public School, Wilfrid Jury Public School, Lorne Avenue Public School, Arthur Ford Public School, White Oaks Public School, St. Mary Choir and Orchestra School, Tweedsmuir Public School, and Wilton Grove Public School.
Richard Loew coined the term "nature deficit disorder" in his book Last Child in the Woods to describe a range of troubles many children face due in part because they spend very little time outdoors interacting with nature. He writes, "an increasing pace in the last three decades, approximately, of a rapid disengagement between children and direct experiences in nature …has profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the Earth itself."
Increased study of science and nature and increased outdoor time has been proven to be extremely beneficial for cognitive functioning, reduced symptoms of attention deficit disorder, increased self-discipline and emotional well-being.
These projects are funded by contributions by the schools, the Thames Valley District School Board, the Urban League of London, and the Walter J. Blackburn Foundation.