75 new trees are being planted this week in the “Pocket” neighborhood at Danforth and Jones. The plantings are a product of hours of volunteer work by community members who formed the “Pocket Tree Project”, an initiative of the Pocket Community Association.
75 new trees are being planted this week in the “Pocket” neighborhood at Danforth and Jones. The plantings are a product of hours of volunteer work by community members who formed the “Pocket Tree Project”, an initiative of the Pocket Community Association. The Project came together to help reforest the neighborhood after more than two dozen large trees were lost in recent years. With the support of Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher, the Project partnered with the City of Toronto’s Urban Forestry to expedite plantings.
“Our neighborhood was changing and not for the better as we lost many old big trees recently,” Richard Brooks, a volunteer with the Tree Project. “We came together to regreen our streets and the response from both the city and neighbors has been really exciting.”
The Tree Project organized volunteers to go door to door to sign up neighbors for the City’s “Free Front Yard Tree” program. Volunteers also identified city owned properties such as boulevards and the perimeters of area school grounds for plantings. The City designated a liaison to work with the volunteers. The City program provides tree free of charge, including planting and mulching.
Additionally, the Tree Project organized 5 homeowners to purchase larger caliper trees for front yards to add instant shade to the neighborhood. The Project also arranged for tree plantings around the area schools – Blake Public School and Eastern Commerce Collegiate – where many area children go to school.
“City of Toronto Urban Forestry has been really helpful in expediting these plantings,” said Jeff Otto, a project volunteer and vice-chair of the Pocket Community Association. “It’s amazing what can be done when neighbors and city officials work together.”
“Community initiatives like the Pocket Tree Project are making a big difference as Toronto works towards its goal of increasing its tree canopy coverage,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher. “Toronto-Danforth really supports urban forest renewal and thanks to projects like this one almost 1,000 new trees have been planted in Ward 30 since 2010 and we’ll be coming together to celebrate the urban forest in a few weeks at the Leslieville Tree Festival.”
The volunteers helped educate neighbors on the benefit of trees and presented them with options on species. As a result plantings will include a wide variety of tree species including tulip, catalpa, locust, maple, ironwood and oak.
The vibrant Pocket neighborhood is located between the streets of Danforth and the CN train tracks north of Gerrard and between Jones and the Greenwood TTC yards.
For more information including photos of trees please contact:
Richard Brooks, project volunteer:416-573-7209
Jeff Otto, Pocket Community Association Vice-Chair: 416-986-2374
The Pocket Tree Project
An Initiative of the Pocket Community Association
– Regreening our neighborhood –