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A Super Leafy Week in London

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge
Year: 
2016
Season: 
Fall

National Forest Week 2016 was a week of tree giveaways, tree planting and showing trees some love!

Each year, ReForest London celebrates National Tree Day – the middle day of National Forest Week - and encourages Partners to celebrate by giving away free tree seedlings and in the case of the City of London, small trees. All of these trees given out are in honour of London’s Million Tree Challenge and each year it has been a big success at getting trees into the hands of property owners to plant. 

Goodwill picking up Scotiabank picking up seedlings

This year, we wanted to expand our reach and impact by celebrating National Forest Week. We felt that a whole week would increase awareness and importance of tree planting and our urban forest and serve as a celebration for all Londoners to appreciate the great benefits that trees and our urban forest provide. It truly was a week of tree fun, education, engagement, giveaways and planting events.

This green week included a special Hug Me Promotion, five naturalization plantings done by ReForest London, National Tree Day, and a neighbourhood tree blitz.Take a look at this wonderful video below that highlights National Forest Week - Thank you to Million Tree Challenge partner SixFive Interactive for producing this video for us!

The special Hug Me Promotion encouraged people to show the trees some love by hugging them and snapping a photo of themselves doing so, and uploading their photo to social media using the hashtag #Idigtrees. Free trees were offered to participants. Close to 100 people took part and shared their images on social media – it was great fun and really nice to see. A special thanks to all the volunteers who helped put up and take down the Hug Me signs all over the city. We couldn’t have done it without your help! Visit the Hug Me photo gallery of our fantastic tree huggers.

National Tree Day saw 3515 trees and seedlings given away by 14 different participants at 31 public locations and 7 private locations all across the city. Thank you to all Million Tree Challenge supporters who made this an amazing day: City of London, Scotiabank, Goodwill Industries, Western University, Bluestone Properties, The Make it Happen Project , Peggy Sattler MPP, Friends of the Civic Gardens, TVDSB,  ReForest London, ATN/Old East Village Grocer, Nokee Kwe, MLHU, and Woodland Heights PS.

Old East Village Grocer Western University
Above: A tweet about Old East Village Grocer who gave away seedlings on National Tree Day. Below: A tweet from Peggy Sattler MPP who gave away seedlings.
Above: A tweet about Western University's National Tree  Day giveaway. Below: A tweet from Irene Mathysen MP in honour of National Tree Day.
 Peggy Sattler MPP  Irene Mathysen

The City of London especially stepped up again this year by giving away close to 2000 large trees at four different mall locations scheduled at different times throughout the day. The response was amazing and this large giveaway helped break down barriers to people planting on their land including people with disabilities. ReForest London Tree Specialist Volunteers added great value to the City’s giveaways educating people about the trees offered and which trees would suit their property best. Special thanks to Rogers TV London volunteers who helped deliver and plant trees for persons with disabilities who wanted one. Also a big thanks to Two Small Men With Big Hearts Moving for their generous support of National Tree Day through moving all of the City's 2000 trees to and from the four mall giveawy locations!

Unloading City trees Two Small Men - Moving

Of course registering your newly planted trees in the Million Tree Challenge was an important message on National Tree Day and many did register their new trees. If by chance you planted a tree during National Forest week and have not yet registered it, now is the perfect time to visit milliontrees.ca and get counted.

Also during National Forest Week, Reforest London planted 1565 trees. On Sunday, September 18, 294 trees were planted at Greenway Park with Voices.com in memory of Nathan Deslippe a ReForest London volunteer. On Wednesday, September 21, 235 trees were planted at St. Robert Catholic Elementary School. On the Thursday of National forest Week, 221 trees were planted at Enterprise SWM funded by Harris Home Hardware who also helped plant along with students from St. Andre Bessette Catholic Secondary School. Friday, September 23, saw 390 trees planted at Marr Drain with Western Serves and on Saturday, September 24, the annual Multicultural planting with LCCLC & Nokee Kwe at Westmount Lions Park added 425 trees to London’s landscape.

Multicultural planting 2016 Multicultural planting 2016
Planting at Enterprise SWM Planting at Enterprise SWM

Trees were also planted on Sunday, September 18 by 26 volunteers at the SoHo neighbourhood Tree Blitz (photos below) and 129 new trees were added to the neighbourhood that day.

 SOHO Tree Blitz September 2016  SOHO Tree Blitz September 2016

ReForest London was lucky to garner quite a bit of earned media during National Forest Week including interviews on CBC Radio 1, AM980, and Rogers Daytime. Thank you to MTC Partner 102.3 JackFM for all your help promoting the Hug Me Promotion and being an overall great supporter of the Million Tree Challenge.

Thank you London for caring about trees, planting them and registering them in the Million Tree Challenge and for making National Forest Week and National Tree Day such a big success in the Forest City.