By ALAN SHACKLETON
A number of dignitaries attended an event on Monday, Nov. 4 to celebrate the recent planting of 17 trees on the grounds of Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s (TCHC) Greenwood Park Manor on Dundas Street East.
The celebration marked the culmination of a partnership at the site between TCHC, the City of Toronto, Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), Park People, the TD Bank Group and the Arbor Day Foundation.
“We’re here to celebrate our collective work on this very successful tree planting initiative,” Janet McKay of LEAF told those gathered in the green space on the south side of the building.
Planted at the site by the TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative Team were a mix of native-species trees including American elm, basswood, bur oak, Freeman maple, Kentucky coffee tree, silver maple, sugar maple and serviceberry.
Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher pointed out that the new trees were a big improvement on the cluster of Austrian pines which had previously been planted on the property decades ago.
“What a great partnership this is to meet the city’s goal of replacing and replenishing the tree canopy,” she said.
Fletcher, who is also a member of the TCHC board, pointed out the Austrian pines which have been planted at numerous TCHC properties are not even a native species.
“Every TCHC property has these trees,” she said of the Austrian pines. “Somebody must have bought a lot of them in the 1960s. They have lots of needles and not much shade. I can’t tell you how important it is to have native species of trees on our properties.”
The Greenwood manor site was one of eight TCHC properties to see trees planted this year as the planting and stewardship initiative. In total, 75 trees were planted at the eight locations in East Toronto and Scarborough.
The initiative was supported through grants from the city, a TD Green Space Grant from TC Bank Group, and the Arbor Day Foundation.
As part of the TCHC initiative, tenants at the properties where the trees were planted had enormous input in what species of trees would be planted and where. Tenants have also taken on the responsibility of caring for the trees as they mature over the years.
For more information on the initiative, please visit www.yourleaf.org