Environment Canada Grant Supports ReForest London Tree Planting

Two London MP’s announced a $55,000 grant from Environment Canada to ReForest London. The grant will allow the non-profit organization to plant 3,000 native tree and shrubs in 10 park projects throughout the city. The grant was announced Saturday at Coronation Park, where 60 volunteers planted over 250 trees and shrubs in this newer park in northwest London.

“Environment Canada's support of projects like this is key to making on-the-ground improvements in our community and across the country,” said Dean Sheppard, Executive Director of ReForest London. “Planting baby woodlands like we are doing here today improves our environmental and our human health, plus it builds local community. We are delighted to have a federal partner investing in London.”

Through the grant, ReForest London will engage community volunteers to assist with planting trees at City of London parks. The ten sites planted in through this grant include: Murray Marr West, Murray Marr East, Pottersburg Park, Meadowgate Park North, Meadowgate Park East, McCormick Park, Southwest Optimist Park, Coronation Park, Jesse Davidson Park, and Helen Mott Shaw Park.

“The Million Tree Challenge has a goal to plant One Million Trees in our City of London, the Forest City,” said Ed Holder, MP for London West. “What we all know is that trees play a significant role in Londoners’ quality of life - environmentally, culturally and economically. ReForest London, through its strong community partnerships will leave a legacy of trees for our kids and theirs. That is a lasting legacy!”

“As a long-time supporter of ReForest London, I'm very pleased the organization is receiving this grant from Environment Canada,” said Irene Mathyssen, MP for London Fanshawe. “I have no doubt the approval of the grant is due in significant part to the hard work and community involvement of ReForest London, its volunteers, and supporters. The importance of trees to a healthy environment is something Londoners, in the Forest City, truly understand. This is an investment that will benefit Londoners for generations to come.”

The projects will include innovative site preparation and planting techniques, including pit and mound. This technique mimics a natural forest where pits and mounds of varying sizes are created over time from fallen trees. Using a backhoe, ReForest London will artificially create these pits and mounds to encourage a richer diversity of species.

Another technique to be tested in this grant is double-tilling. In this study, ReForest London will divide a site in two test areas: one area will be rototilled once, and the other will be rototilled twice. Double-tilling may be more effective in suppressing weeds and grass, which compete with the newly planted trees. ReForest London will compare species survivability and weed density between the two test areas.