Getting Street Trees where they are needed the most. An OPIRG McMaster summer neighbourhood project.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Strategy for Street Tree Success?

‘What we’ve learned by having real, in-depth conversations with people is that a broad swath of voters are actually open to changing their mind.’
Johnny talking trees to residents in Keith, 2013

"Existing research depicts intergroup prejudices as deeply ingrained, requiring intense intervention to lastingly reduce. Here, we show that a single approximately 10-minute conversation encouraging actively taking the perspective of others can markedly reduce prejudice for at least 3 months. We illustrate this potential with a door-to-door canvassing intervention in South Florida targeting antitransgender prejudice. Despite declines in homophobia, transphobia remains pervasive. For the intervention, 56 canvassers went door to door encouraging active perspective-taking with 501 voters at voters’ doorsteps. A randomized trial found that these conversations substantially reduced transphobia, with decreases greater than Americans’ average decrease in homophobia from 1998 to 2012. These effects persisted for 3 months, and both transgender and nontransgender canvassers were effective. The intervention also increased support for a nondiscrimination law, even after exposing voters to counterarguments." (Abstract from Science research paper)

Some interesting research into effective forms of communicating to win people over.

Read the full article in the New York Times

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Using trees to beat the heat: action in Portland Oregon.

From this interesting piece from the USA:
New street tree in Keith neighbourhood,
Hamilton Ontario

"We’ve been working with a team for several years to develop heat island maps for Portland and its surrounding region. We’ve also worked with Dr. Linda George and her lab to study traffic-related air quality, and the impact of trees on that air quality."

"Right now we’re working on an interactive version of the map that will help policy makers and citizen groups drill down on specific Portland streets and neighborhoods to find trouble spots. Notable in our analysis is that trails and greenways factor prominently in reducing air pollution and mitigating urban heat. The more extensive tracts of greenery present in specific areas, the greater cleaning and cooling of the air."

OK peoples: we can do so much more to further the research about air quality, and keep adding more trees to do their part for cleaning the air.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015

After a long month of canvassing throughout the Gibson neighbourhood, the Street Tree Project is wrapping up for the 2015 season. 

A few of this years volunteers 

To quantitatively see the results of the project over the last 3 years, check out the following map!

It’s not too late to get your free tree. Although the requests for fall planting are due June 30, any further requests will be planted in spring! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Volunteers Needed

The Street Tree Project is still looking for volunteers if you'd like to come out to the Gibson neighbourhood and help out with door-to-door canvassing!

If you are interested, sign up on this Doodle Poll:

Monday, June 8, 2015

GALA Meeting, 100in1 Day Hamilton, and Trailhead Ontario Community Day

Just had an amazing but busy weekend with the Street Tree Project!

On Saturday (June 6), I headed out to a branch of the Hamilton Public Library down Barton Street East to attend the monthly Gibson and Landsdale Area (GALA) Meeting to see what's being planned for the area and to promote the project to get some more publicity. They were busy planning many great things for the community such as the Barton Street Festival, Pan-Am BBQ, and the Beautiful Alleys Clean-up. Brenda Duke (GALA co-treasurer) later offered to include our poster in the July/August community paper (The Herald), so hopefully requests for street trees continue to be fly in once our project is over!

After the GALA meeting, I headed over to Powell Park to meet volunteer Maine Be to host our very own 100in1 Day Hamilton intervention! We set up a table where kids could draw while we talk to their parents about the benefits of street trees. After 2 hours of talking to several families, we got a few requests and had many people interested in the program! Hopefully they visit the Hamilton Free Street Tree website and request their very own. To wrap up our day, we headed down Barton for a bit of door-to-door canvassing.

On Sunday (June 7), I headed to Mills Plaza on the McMaster campus for the first ever Trailhead Ontario 2015 Community Day! There were a bunch of different trail groups that came from across Hamilton, Halton, and Burlington for a two-day conference that will be taking place on Monday and Tuesday. I set up a table to inform people of the Free Street Tree Program that the City of Hamilton offers, and this impressed quite a few individuals that travelled from outside of the City, as their regions did not offer such a sweet deal. Fortunately, most of the people I talked to already had plenty of trees planted across their properties and some even planted trees in their favourite fishing spots are along the road in their home towns!

Although the turnout was mediocre at first, the plaza got busier later on in the day with most of the attention focused on the Conversation Halton booth that hosted a few very impressive birds of prey. Overall, the Community Day was definitely a success and it was refreshing to meet with so many individuals who were active in greening the environment and were pro-sustainability.

Turnout at Trailhead Ontario 2015 Community Day

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

93.3 CFMU - Painting Hamilton Green

I recently had the chance to be a guest on 93.3 CMFU (McMaster Campus Radio) with host Ingie Metwally! Click on the link below to hear more about the project and why it is important to the city. Also, check out 93.3 CFMU for some great interviews and tunes!

As always, If you’re interested in getting involved with the program and help make a positive impact on Hamilton communities, contact the Street Tree Project team via email (, phone (905-525-9140 ext. 26026), or by coming in to the OPIRG McMaster Resource Centre (MUSC 229).

Friday, May 15, 2015

100in1 Day Hamilton

After our walkthrough of the Gibson neighbourhood, we attended a 100in1 Day Hamilton workshop. We weren't too sure of what to expect, since the description on the website was limited. The event was hosted at St. Peter’s HARRRP Community Centre (705 Main St. East).

St. Peter's HARRRP Community Centre

As soon as we arrived, we got started on brainstorming ideas around different themes – what we love about Hamilton, what could be improved in Hamilton, how we could improve these things, how we would go about implementing these things, and finally how these ideas could be translated into interventions for 100in1 Day Hamilton on June 6th

With some help from Laura Anderson (running a ‘U-Pick Urban Kale Farm’ at Powell Park), we got our thoughts formalized into a 100in1 Day Hamilton intervention!
I will be at Powell Park between 11:15 AM and 3:00 PM with a couple of volunteers! Hopefully we will be able to get several requests at this event; come check us out if you have time. If you want a free street tree but can’t attend this event, feel free to contact me at and I would be more than willing to help you request one.

Check out our Hamilton intervention page for more information: