Getting Street Trees where they are needed the most.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

12 New Trees!

Like I said in my previous post, I went door-to-door Sunday evening to the "outskirts" of the Keith neighbourhood to see how many people were willing to participate. After 3-4 hours of walking and chatting with thee residents, I was able to get 12 new trees ordered for this area! 

Seeing as the goal was 25 trees and I have yet to go down the longest street (Niagara St.) in the area, plus I have to go back to a few homes who wanted to talk it over and have some time to decide, as well as missing some people who were not home when I was knocking on doors; it seems pretty promising that the 25 tree goal will be reached!

Stay tuned for what happens when I go back for round 2!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And so it begins...

With all the planning almost completed, it was time to get a feel for how people would respond to being asked to take part in our project by signing up for a free street tree.

I decided to go to a few houses (~8) to see what would happen... to my surprise and satisfaction, the residents to which I offered the service to were very willing to sign up for a tree! Three people immediately signed up, while the others said yes but wanted to check with their spouses who were not home at the moment. I will be going back on Saturday or Sunday when people will most likely be home and see if I can get at least another 25 people signed up for free street trees!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Toronto Trees Story

"It’s no coincidence then that neighbourhoods with the most trees are those with the highest property values. Keeping in mind that half the urban area is either paved over or covered with buildings, it’s no surprise trees make a street, district, or indeed, an entire city, highly desirable."

Street Tree planted in Keith Neighbourhood in 2012 - investing in future tree canopy!

Read the full story about Toronto's urban tree canopy at the Toronto Star

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Pieces Are Beginning to Come Together!

Over the last couple of weeks Randy and I (Johnny) have been setting up meetings with key players. So far we have met with Laura Ryan who was a treat to talk to! She provided a lot of insight on the neighbourhood and helped solve some potential setbacks we might have had if it wasn't for her. Laura also had a great idea to set up a table outside the Eva Rothwell Centre to attract some attention and get people signed up for free street trees!

The other important meeting was with Bill Longley, who is one of the coordinators for Hamilton's Urban Forestry. He gave us some tips on how to reach more people and how to address some of the issues we may run into. Most importantly, he extended our deadline to hand in street tree forms from June 15th to June 30th which gives us a larger window of time to reach many more residents!

Here is the plan so far:
-putting up a poster at the Eva Rothwell Centre to advertise our cause
-setting up a table outside the Eva Rothwell Centre next week and following weeks to get some people signed up for street trees
-on June 8th, go door to door with 6 volunteers and get people signed up! The volunteers will write down objections they encounter and I will go back later and address the objection in a friendly manner to hopefully change their mind
-attend the community BBQ on June 22nd, set up a table and soak up the sun as we make one last effort to get as many people signed up for street trees!

The pieces are finally coming together and through this action plan I don't see why we can't get at least 100 trees planted!

Just Announcing: This Place is Amazing!

The Eva Rothwell Resource Centre is an amazing hub of neighbourhood activity. Having a place like this situated in the community creates a centre of energy and support. We encourage you to investigate the history of the centre, located in the former Robert Land School:

From their web site:
Today, the Eva Rothwell Centre is home to a ever-growing number of programs and services that are helping to improve the quality of life and enhance social wellbeing for an entire North Hamilton neighbourhood and some of the city’s best kids.
OPIRG McMaster's Street Tree Project leader Jonathan Valencia will be setting up a display at the building to encourage people to get their free street tree orders in before the summer deadline.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Great Things Growing!

We are quickly learning about the great things going on in the Keith Neighbourhood, like community gardens! We enjoyed running into Jen who told us a lot about what was growing in both her vegetable garden, and her front yard flower garden down the street.

The sense of community is palpable here, and we are honoured to be able to take part in the ongoing revival of this neighbourhood.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Street Scenes in Keith

We took a sunny walk through the Keith Neighbourhood recently and met some great people out enjoying the spring weather! We were impressed with the neighbourliness of the people we chatted with, who obviously are open to receiving visitors. We got a chance to run our idea of getting more street trees into the area, and learned a lot from the feedback!

 Some streets have lost street trees over the years to age, and there is plenty of room for a new generation of street trees to bring more beauty and cleaner air to the region.

Some streets have a fairly decent supply of street trees, but there's always room for more, and with a range of free trees to choose from, ranging in size from small to large, there's something for everyone!

We'll update this blog as we go, we hope you consider following us as we learn and grow with the fine residents of Keith in Ward 3, Hamilton!