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Volunteerism has always been fundamental to 10,000 Trees. One of our greatest strengths is harnessing the public’s desire to do something positive for the environment.

Each planting attracts about 1,800 volunteer planters. Since 1989, our volunteers have planted over 145,000 trees and shrubs and helped restore over 150 acres of fragile watershed land. Planting day is always a lot of fun for everyone who comes out to help. And students are welcome!… Find out how you can get Community Service hours.

Don’t feel like getting dirty? There are lots of other ways to help out! Our various committees offer different opportunities for everyone – whether you like to get your hands dirty, or can lend a hand in some other way. If you think you could help out any of our committees, please contact us.

Our entire group meets on a monthly basis in Richmond Hill. Each individual brings their specific knowledge and expertise to the group. Take a look at our committees:

 

Site Preparation
Are you a hands-on type of person? Don’t mind a bit of physical exertion and some dirt under your fingernails? Then the Site Preparation Committee may be for you! This Committee gears up in January and February of each year and intensifies in the 3 to 4 weeks before planting day. While there is some preparatory telephone and planning work involved, much of the efforts of Site Prep volunteers are concentrated in the final weeks, preparing the planting site for all the excited tree planters who will attend our event.

You’ll help make the following necessary arrangements:

  • Ensure that the site is properly staked and marked before planting day – by setting up signs, taping off planting areas, and marking hazardous zones such as railway tracks

  • Make sure there is plenty of comfort for all the participants – includes organizing food and drink, washroom spaces, musical entertainment and more

  • Arrange to have the necessary tools in place for planters such as buckets, shovels, and maps

  • Coordinate the flow of traffic on the big day – this can include setting up directional and parking signs, assisting with parking control and taking necessary police, fire, and ambulance precautions

 

If you can afford to donate your time and energy in late winter to early spring by helping us gear up the physical site for planting, please let us know. Even small contributions of your time help us out in a big way!

Fundraising
The greatest contribution to our success is the support of thousands of volunteers! Each spring, lots of people from different walks of life pitch in to plant and protect thousands of trees. Without their support, we could never succeed in protecting the Rouge Valley as much as we do.

 

But we also need financial support to enable us to buy the trees, tree guards, mulch and other equipment needed to complete a planting – not to mention the food, refreshments and entertainment provided on planting day! The role of the Fundraising Committee is to connect with local businesses, foundations, agencies and individuals who are interested in providing funding either in cash or in kind (supplying materials or equipment). More specifically, our fundraisers:

  • Help determine the needs of the year’s operation

  • Develop strategies for raising the funds

  • Maintain contact with existing sponsors, informing them of continuing activities

  • Identify and contact potential new sponsors

  • Prepare and make presentations to those corporately responsible for making sponsorship grants

 

The people we contact appreciate the work that we do, and are ready and willing to help. Businesses today believe in giving back to the communities they serve, and 10,000 Trees is a perfect match for those looking to support local environmental efforts. If you would like to get involved in these activities, and help come up with interesting and fun ways to raise funds, please contact us.

Volunteer Recruitment

If you have a few free hours over the bleak winter months, you might enjoy helping out our Volunteer Committee. The role of this committee is to spread the word about the upcoming planting to those who would love to lend a hand if they only knew where and when. Recruiting involves contacting potential volunteers via phone, fax, and flyer distribution. In January and February, they contact groups who need extra time to plan their participation, such as Scouts and Guides, environmental groups, local churches and schools. In March, notices are sent out to libraries and we launch the mass mailing to all our previous volunteers.

If it sounds appealing to be doing something concrete about conservation when the ground is still frozen and everyone else is dreaming about spring, please contact us!

Landscape
The Landscape Committee for 10,000 Trees plays a very extensive role in the event. The first task is working with local governments to review and select future planting sites. This first step is crucial – many factors such as site size, neighbors, current occupants and environmental parameters must be thoroughly reviewed when accepting a site for planting. With our forester’s recommendations, the Landscape Committee turns the site plans into reality.

The committee then places the order for the new trees! Based on a variety of recommended tree species, the order is sent out for tender to approximately ten tree suppliers. Once these quotes return, a meeting is held to determine the best suppliers. We choose several different suppliers to ensure genetic diversity and guaranteed delivery of any one species of tree or shrub.

Preparing the site for planting is ongoing throughout the winter, as many bulky items such as habitat structures, mulch and compost can only be delivered when the ground is frozen. Orders are received and reviewed by us on the day prior to the public’s arrival. All of the saplings are then temporarily planted or “heeled in” so that they don’t dry out before the public arrives. Each species of tree is designated for a specific area of the site. Our planting managers are well prepared for this delivery day and ensure that the planting goes as smoothly as possible for the volunteers.

The planting managers oversee and train anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 volunteer planters. Trees are planted at a staggering rate of about 1,000 per hour! That is, if we have enough people involved.

The Landscape Committee, along with the forester and planting managers, acts as quality control managers on planting day to ensure all the trees are planted correctly. They ensure that proper maintenance and monitoring is completed on the site after the planting, including watering during drought and weed management. The course of action is reviewed shortly after the planting to decide where improvements can be made in the future. Then it starts all over again in September! If you would like to be part of this exciting and integral committee, please contact us.

Public Outreach
We are always looking for new ways to get the message of 10,000 Trees out to the public! Can you help us? Are you skilled in marketing, media relations, or web development? Then please contact us! Our group benefits from any exposure we can get that helps us reach our goals.

Volunteers