sTREEts

Getting Street Trees where they are needed the most.

Friday, June 10, 2016

100 in 1 Day

On June 4, the Street Tree Project had the chance to organize an urban intervention through 100 in 1 Day. The event, called "Paint your City Green" encouraged passerby to decorate a paper cutout of a tree, which was then attached to a large poster depicting a neighbourhood.

The purpose of the urban intervention was to spark discussion about the importance of trees and encourage people to imagine a greener Hamilton. Each person that adds a tree to the street does something small, but the combined weight of all the trees has a major impact.
The poster: before
The day of the event, we set out a tarp with a variety of art supplies including paints, stickers, and glitter. We also had the large neighbourhood poster stuck to a nearby picnic table.

The 100 in 1 Day event started off slowly. At first, only a few people trickled in to participate. It was beginning to look like we would not have enough participants to make the event a success.

However, a couple hours in, kids playing at the nearby playground began to take an interest in the event. Groups of children came by to decorate trees, which drew even more of a crowd. Eventually, we had so much interest that there wasn't enough room on the poster to stick all the trees!

Painting the poster
While painting, we also had the chance to speak to community members about the importance of trees in the city. A number of people told us how much they would love to have more trees in their neighbourhoods, simply because trees make neighbourhoods feel nicer. Some people fondly recalled their childhoods in more rural areas, where they were surrounded by trees. The small canopy in their Hamilton neighbourhoods is sad for them to see. We had discussions about air quality, health, and the environment, each time ultimately coming to the conclusion that we need more trees!

So if we are so keen to imagine a greener city, what stops us from implementing it? Many of the participants in 100 in 1 Day did not own their property, which meant that they did not want to place a tree request for their home. While the Street Tree Project is happy to contact landlords directly, it is understandable that not everybody is comfortable giving us their landlords' information.

Small lawns another common reason for choosing not to request a tree. While we do offer a number of small tree choices, some properties are unfortunately just too small.

That being said, there are many people in the neighbourhood who can easily request a tree and make a huge difference in their community. By going canvassing throughout this month, we hope to find these people and encourage them to request a tree!

Some of the participants after the day of painting

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