On November 9th, The Starfish participated in a tree planting session in collaboration with Trees for Hamilton and the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). We worked with Trees for Hamilton plant fifty trees and pull out invasive species at the RBG Arboretum.
I recently spoke with Dr. Myles Sergeant, co-founder of Trees for Hamilton, about the organization and his tree planting goals. Sergeant’s commitment to greening Hamilton and making it a healthier place is admirable. Sergeant touches on the value of trees and the impact of tree planting on the community.
Me: Tell me a little about Trees for Hamilton and your role within the group.
Sergeant: Trees for Hamilton is a not-for-profit organization that was co-founded by Lorraine Norminton and me. The organization plants trees in predefined areas of need in the Hamilton region and collaborates with volunteer groups (like The Starfish).
Me: What are your tree planting goals?
Trees for Hamilton aims to have a large scale planting every spring (more than 1,000 trees), as well as a smaller community planting every fall.
Me: What motivated you to create these goals and start these initiatives?
Trees are important to the long-term health of individuals and communities. As a family doctor, I view this as a public health endeavour. In addition, trees are also important for the beautification of a community.
I have a small rural property and have enjoyed planting native trees there, but I've run out of space! Lorraine, in her previous role as a stewardship counselor for Hamilton-Wentworth, had helped me with projects on my own property. We decided to start doing projects for the larger community.
Me: Why should the community get involved? And how can they do so?
If people believe trees are important, they should help out! They could help by planting trees on their own properties, or by volunteering with Trees For Hamilton, The Starfish - groups like that. Also, they could donate money to Trees for Hamilton. Over 90% of funds will go into the purchase of the trees. The planting, and administration are all voluntary.
Thanks to Dr. Sergeant for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information, please check out ReLeaf Hamilton's website at http://releafhamilton.ca/.