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A Great National Tree Day 2015

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge

Every year, businesses, groups and Partners in London’s Million Tree Challenge participate in a special tree seedling/sapling giveaway to celebrate National Tree Day – a day during National Forest Week that serves as a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the great benefits trees provide. 2015 marked the fifth year of National Tree Day.

Scotiabank picking up seedlings Goodwill at Sherwood Forest
Ted and Mark from Scotiabank pick up the 500 native tree seedlings that they gave away on National Tree Day at their 14 London branches.
Staff at Goodwill in Sherwood Forest Mall get ready to give away native tree seedlings to their customers on National Tree Day.

If any city can truly appreciate trees, it's the Forest City, and what better way to celebrate trees than to plant one? Trees were given out on Wednesday, September 23rd at thirty-five London locations to celebrate. This year, fourteen participants gave away trees both internally and to the public. A total of 2444 trees found new homes! Tree recipients are encouraged to plant their new tree as soon as possible and register it in London’s Million Tree Challenge.

"Scotiabank is proud to once again have been a part of National Tree Day in support of the Million Tree Challenge in London on September 23rd.” said Ted Riquinha, Community Manager at Scotianbank.  “Our staff loves to be involved in grassroots events that make a difference in our communities.  Helping the Forest City remain the Forest City is just one small way we as Scotiabankers enjoy giving back to our customers and our community.”

Public locations where people could pick up a native trees seedling, or in the case of the City of London, a 3-5 gallon tree, included: all fourteen London branches of Scotiabank, four mall locations and one downtown location for the City of London, seven London locations of Goodwill Industries, John Zubick Ltd. on Clarke Rd., Libro Credit Union at 919 Southdale Rd. W., ATN Access, Friends of the London Civic Garden Complex and ReForest London.

Internal giveaways to staff, clients, or volunteers took place at Western University, Ingredion, Pillar Nonprofit Network, Sarah Doub Fitness Coaching, Original Kids Theatre Co. and the TVDSB office.

Western seedling giveaway Sarah Doub seedling giveaway
Western University hosted an internal giveaway of 250 native tree seedlings on National Tree Day!
Sarah Doub Fitness Coaching gave seedlings away to clients on National Tree Day.

“We were excited to host an event this year to celebrate National Tree Day here at Western!” said Tony Sferrazza, Sustainability Coordinator intern at Western University.  “It’s always one of our most popular initiatives as faculty and staff get a chance to make the Forest City that much more green. We look forward to future opportunities to help London’s Million Tree Challenge reach the #milliontrees goal.”

The City of London stepped up in a big way this year and gave away 944 larger – 3-5 gallon trees at four mall location in each corner of the city – Masonville Place, White Oaks Mall, Argyle Mall and Westmount Mall.  “The response to our tree giveaway was very encouraging,” said Sara Rowland, Urban Forestry Planner for the City, who also developed the idea of making this giveaway more accessible. “Partnering with ReForest London and its volunteers, the City of London was able for the first time to have free trees delivered and planted in the yards of London residents who are physically unable to plant a tree on their own, or don’t have a car. This truly was a positive experience for everyone and the team work made it possible for any resident to enjoy the free tree initiative and contribute to our growing of an urban forest.”

The City’s tree giveaway proved to be extremely popular with long line ups and trees being given away within minutes. The 50 trees set aside by the City and available by request for people with disabilities or people not able to get to a giveaway location was part of the celebration that ReForest London volunteers followed up on.  These trees were delivered and/or planted for happy recipients who could not get them on their own.

"This has really been one of the most rewarding projects I've been involved with since starting for ReForest London," said Amber Cantell, Project Manager at ReForest London. "I think that it does so much for our community to be able to get trees out to people who would otherwise be unable to plant and enjoy one. All four of our volunteer teams were so enthusiastic to be taking part in this project. Having a beautiful tree can really go a long way to making a place feel like home, and trees become a part of our landscapes for decades - sometimes centuries - to come. To me, this event really helped to show what it means to be a part of the Forest City."

Organizing trees for delivery & planting Peter & Sue delivering and planting trees
ReForest London Intern Brad Petovello prepares City of London trees to be transported to their new homes and planted all done by our amazing ReForest London volunteers.
Peter DeGelder and Sue Elliot are all set to go with a truck full of trees given out by the City of London to be planted for people with diabilities or not able to pick one up on National Tree Day. A big thanks to Moffat and Powell Ltd. for the use of their van!

 If you received a tree on National Tree Day, be sure to register it at so you can be one in a million and count toward the Million Tree Challenge.

Participation in National Tree Day is an excellent Partner action – very affordable and a great way to get your name out there, offer something of value for staff, clients and the public, and help create a greener, healthier London for now and for future generations.

Thank you to everyone who participated in National Tree Day 2015! As this is an annual event, we look forward to even greater participation next year.

City of London tree giveaway City of London tree giveaway
A happy tree recipient from the City's giveaway on National Tree Day 2015.
Another happy tree recipient at the City of London's tree giveaway on National Tree Day.
 Goodwill Oxford East store  Trees at Argyle Mall
Staff at Goodwill Oxford East prepare to give away baby native trees to their customers.
Trees given away at Argyle Mall by the City on National Tree Day 2015