Getting Street Trees where they are needed the most.

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:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Call For Volunteers

After another successful year at Crown Point with 83 tree requests, the Street Tree Project will be heading to the Gibson neighbourhood to paint another great neighbourhood green! If you would like to get involved this year in making a positive impact for Hamilton communities while meeting some wonderful residents in the Gibson area, contact us via email, phone, or by coming in to the OPIRG resource room!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

First Impression of the Gibson Area

This year OPIRG McMaster will be targeting the Gibson area for the Street Tree Project! Heading out to the neighbourhood for the first time with the now experienced Street Tree Project Leader Randy Kay, we were able to assess the area more comprehensively than with Google maps.

Starting from Barton St. East, we made our way Northwards up Gibson Avenue. Our first reaction of the neighbourhood was how much potential it had to become greener. Plot sizes were generally decent, with a few that might be too small to have a tree planted there,but it was clear that the street could be made much more beautiful with an overhanging tree canopy. After talking to one of the neighbours, it seemed that because of the small plot sizes, most people would be more receptive towards smaller trees. Considering that the most popular requested tree has been the Amur Maple (growing up to 5-8 meters in height), this was not very surprising. 

Additionally, there were other neighbours who seemed to be interested in the idea of a free tree, but were unsure if their plot was large enough to host one. Other neighbours were interested in the idea of a free tree, but only if it was in their backyard, which is unfortunately not city property or part of the road allowance. Maybe the City would be able to partly compensate a property owner for trees on their private property… who knows, though this would be very complicated to into make a reality!

One of the things that caught my attention as we walked down Gibson Avenue was the not-so-distant sign of industrial manufacturing plants:

As we later walked down Sherman Avenue North towards the harbour, the thundering sound of what I presumed was steel clashing against something else in a rusting warehouse made it clear to us that we were no longer in a neighbourhood-friendly zone. 

Heading farther towards the harbour, we started to notice a metallic taste in our mouth, presumably due to U. S. Steel Canada and/or Dafasco. Hopefully if enough street trees are planted, this will change in the future!

Heading back, we stopped at 270 Sherman Avenue North to see what the hullabaloo was about regarding the arts facility. Stepping inside on the first floor, it did not seem like anything special. However, as we made our way up the stairs into the studio hallways, it was clear why people flocked to this arts centre when they host events. There were several photos of Hamilton’s industrial past and how it influenced the community that Hamilton is today. I would never have thought that such an old building could host such a vibrant Creative Arts Centre! 

270 Sherman Avenue - Hamilton Creative Arts Centre

Can’t wait to head back to the area after gathering up some volunteers and putting some trees on those streets! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Introducing Harshal, Street Tree Project co-ordinator 2015

Born in North York, Harshal grew up accustomed to the urban setting of Toronto. After moving to Hamilton four years ago to study Life Sciences at McMaster, he has grown to love the seamless integration that Hamilton provides between urban and nature.

Being heavily involved in McMaster Residence Life as a Community Advisor for the past 3 years, he has been exposed to numerous negative expectations about the city which first year students bring with them when first moving to Hamilton. However, he has witnessed these negative outlooks transform into positive ones as students become more involved within the city.

After investigating pollution and brownfield redevelopment across Hamilton as part of a Biology project, he truly appreciates the active effort the city exercises to reduce various types of pollution as well as the associated negative stigma.

The Street Tree Project is one of many phenomenal initiatives Hamilton offers to reach its goal of becoming a greener city. Harshal is extremely excited to bring his unique and creative mindset in an effort to help further these positive effects in communities as the 2015 Street Tree Project Co-ordinator.