In 2023, we saw our Microforest Planting Program grow exponentially – not only in size, but in quality, connection, and participation. We planted 12 different microforests across the Waterloo Region, expanding east to Woolwich and west to Wilmot. We saw new types of trees and shrubs serving new purposes, and created days of remembering and celebration.

Where did we plant this year?

We planted microforests at 5 public schools, 1 city park, 4 private businesses, 1 Indigenous reconciliation garden and 1 local organic vegetable farm – and, for the first time ever, we planted in the Spring! You can see a collection of where and when we planted all of our microforests on the Microforest Map

School Plantings

Laurentian Senior P.S. and Trillium P.S.

Laurentian Senior P.S. and Trillium P.S. were both planted on Earth Day 2023! And what an Earth Day it was. We truly felt the forces of mother nature as we planted in the pouring rain, but the trees absolutely loved it, and our volunteer teams crushed it.

Southridge P.S. and Elizabeth Ziegler P.S.

We had a great day of planting at two schools on one lovely Saturday morning. These two schools were ready to engage their students in caring for and learning about the trees that were planted – this was one of many posters made by the children of Southridge P.S. to advertise for their microforest celebration day!

Grand View P.S.

On this crisp Fall day, we piloted the incorporation of children on school planting days, bringing out educator Nature Nate to teach the kids about why trees are important while we had them help plant, mulch and water their new microforest.

Voisin Park Planting

On this beautiful September morning, we partnered with Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO) and the City of Kitchener to create an event that allowed community members to plant a tree in memory of loved ones. This was followed by a ceremony run by BFO.

Business Location Plantings

We had some wonderful groups of corporate and student volunteers out to plant on the land of institutions and businesses, including the David Johnston R+T Park, Farm Mutual Re, and a Waterloo condominium corporation. The days were so full of energy and fun – we love having staff and student groups out to plant!

Anishnabeg Outreach: Indigenous Reconciliation Garden

On the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we planted a food forest at Anishnabeg Outreach’s Eminidowang Kitigaan (Spirit Garden for Everyone). Different from our typical microforest, we planted fruit trees and shrubs that will provide apples, pears, cherries, apricots and plums to the community.

Pfennings Organic Vegetable Farm

On a chill, bright and sunny November day a group of 30+ volunteers gathered to plant 200 trees at Pfennings Organic Vegetable Farm. These trees are to serve specific purposes of flooding and erosion prevention as well as acting as a fencerow.

Thank you to all of our 2023 sponsors and grantors that made planting possible: 2 Billion Trees, Ages Foundation, UHAUL (through Tree Canada), Farm Mutual Re., University of Waterloo (School of Accounting and Finance), Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU), AET Group Inc., and EY Waterloo.

Thank you also to the over 200 volunteers who helped put these trees in the ground. 2023 volunteer teams including those from: AET Group Inc., University of Waterloo (School of Accounting and Finance), EY Waterloo, Home Depot, Georgette Packaging, NCR Corporation, Bloomingdale Mennonite Church, KW NDP, EPAM Systems, YNCU and Let’s Tree Wilmot and all of the individuals that signed up and came out separately.

If you are interested in participating in our Microforest Planting Program, we are currently planning for the Fall of 2024. Our goal for 2024 is to plant 15 more forests across the region, and are always welcoming new partnerships and opportunities. Specific needs include land to plant on, corporate sponsorship, and volunteers. To learn more about site selection, tree species and what happens on a planting day, please see our 2022 recap post: https://www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca/2022/12/02/trees-trees-and-more-trees-a-recap-of-our-2022-microforest-planting-project/ 

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