ReLEAF for Cabbagetown’s Storm-ravaged Trees Contributed by David Grant

reLeaf-logoCabbagetown ReLEAF is a new local initiative to help maintain and renew the tree canopy in Cabbagetown. Strolling our leafy streets is something that we can take for granted but our mature trees can’t take care of themselves. This Spring we will truly see the effects the December 2013 Ice Storm had on our Urban Forest. The toll it took was significant but fortunately we have this inspiring non-profit organization taking up the cause for our trees.

 
Cabbagetown ReLEAF stems from local Cabbagetowner’s David Grant’s efforts to save a silver maple on Wellesley St East from pending doom. He questioned the initial assessment from the city’s arborist that the tree needed to be removed and by rallying the support of locals through an online petition, a reassessment occurred and the tree was saved. His efforts grew as the need was realised across the neighbourhood to save more mature trees through proactive pruning. With a vanishing canopy he also knew new trees needed to be planted for future generations to enjoy. James Steenberg and Cathryn MacFarlane both came forward to help realize this cause and Cabbagetown ReLEAF was formed.

 
Cabbagetown ReLEAF, through their initiatives both on and off-line, has become an unmatched resource for Cabbagetowners seeking to protect and renew the tree canopy in the neighbourhood. Their website, CabbagetownReLEAF.org, serves as a portal for all things related to urban forestry. From ‘Tree Care’ to ‘10 Great Reasons to Plant a Tree’ to three easy steps to order a ‘Free City Tree,’ this site can answer all your questions about trees.

 
Offline, watch for them at the Forsythia Festival May 4th, the Riverdale Farmer’s Market throughout the summer, the Art and Crafts Sale, and on your doorstep: by partnering with the Urban Forestry, Cabbagetown ReLEAF’s Tree Stewards will help anyone who’s interested in having a tree planted on the city-owned portion of their front yard. The program is free and the Tree Stewards will assist with everything from choosing the right tree and getting the application submitted to after-care to give your new green friend its best chance at survival.

 
If you’d like to become involved, they are seeking volunteers to be trained as Tree Stewards to help their initiatives take root in the community. Cabbagetown ReLEAF is an exciting addition to the neighbourhood and we all look forward to many more shaded strolls along our streets, in no small part thanks to them.

 
Their motto says it best: ‘Education, advocacy, and Urban Forests abound!’

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