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By Roohi Sahajpal

Ines Forte has lived in her home on Westmoreland Avenue for 37 years. She’s been growing fruits and vegetables in her spacious backyard for a long time but wanted something different this year. When she heard about GreenHere‘s free backyard tree planting project, she was eager to get involved.

"I’m a senior citizen on a low income and I wanted to take advantage of the free service," she says. Forte says that GreenHere has helped her beautify her backyard.

"I wanted more trees and more greenery in my backyard and now I have that."

GreenHere is a not for profit charity that works to increase green space in the Davenport neighborhood of Toronto. Their free backyard tree planting project is only one of the many initiatives that the charity is taking on. They also hold school workshops and community events to inform the residents in Davenport about environmental issues.

The Davenport area is surrounded by three major railway corridors and residents in the area face a greater risk of health issues because of this. Tammy Finnikin is the interim executive director of GreenHere and says that GreenHere’s ultimate vision for the area is to create a local arborist movement:

"We want local residents to plant trees and care for their trees so that eventually GreenHere can move to a different neighborhood and start the initiative over again."

GreenHere’s free backyard tree planting project hopes to plant 350 trees this year. They planted 162 in the Spring and another 188 will be planted this Fall. For more information on GreenHere you can visit www.greenhere.ca

Roohi Sahajpal is a third year Journalism student at Ryerson. Instead of merely reporting on what the candidates were doing for an online assignment covering the Toronto elections, she decided to dig up other interesting stories in the community. She discovered GreenHere and was intrigued by their ‘Greening Up’ Davenport and their Free Backyard Tree Planting Projects.

Want more ideas on how to join Wangari Maathai in planting trees and battling climate change? Stop by and discuss on our campaign page!

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