Microforest Planting Program

In the fall of 2021, SWR launched our pilot microforest program that aims to encourage organizations across Waterloo Region to donate land on which trees can be planted.

Made possible by funding from the Ages Foundation, our first program saw volunteers from GrandBridge Energy and EY Waterloo join us to plant dozens of trees at Manchester Public School and 115 new trees at Avenue Road Public School in Cambridge.

Together, we planted 11 different native species of trees of varying sizes. As those trees grow, they’ll create a vibrant microforest with long-term environmental and aesthetic benefits for the school, surrounding neighbourhood, and community. 

The schools can use the space for outdoor activities and programming, while the forest will absorb the heat from parking lots close by, reduce stormwater runoff, and provide habitat for local wildlife, among other vital functions. As our Executive Director Tova Davidson noted in the article linked to above, “Trees are our most reliable, most dependable, proven way of pulling carbon out of the air. So the more trees we have, the better off we are.”

As a recent Statistics Canada study showed, Waterloo Region is one of a small number of urban areas in Canada that has successfully protected the amount of green space in the community over the last 20 years. Small but meaningful program such as microforest planting will help the region meet their urban tree cover goals and continue to keep our home as green as possible. 

Territory Acknowledgement

The land on which we plant is on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee people, and we are situated on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations territory. As part of reconciliation, we recognize the Indigenous people who continue to live here, care for, and remain interconnected with this land. The basis of the Haudenosaunee culture is the connection and care for the land for the future of our children. The work done through the microforest program is to care for, and preserve the land for a prosperous future together. We honour the wisdom brought by these people’s and strive to braid it into the work and programs we do every day.

Microforest Program Impact 

We calculate the impact of this program using the cumulative average carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is modeled as a function of five factors: succession stage, vegetation type (species), % tree canopy cover, temperature (high and low variability), and soil carbon to nitrogen ratio (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 2013). The average Canadian tree, under moderate soil conditions and assuming an 80-year maturity, in an urban environment sequesters about 200 kg C over an 80 year period, or 2.5kg carbon yr-1 (Tree Canada, 2008).

Current Sites

Year Planted 

# of Trees

Carbon Sequestered

= # of trees x 2.5 kg

Avenue Road P.S.



287.5 kg/year

Manchester P.S.



137.5 kg/year

Centennial P.S.



250 kg/year

Lincoln Heights P.S.



225 kg/year

Parkway P.S.



250 kg/year

David Johnston Research + Technology Park



250 kg/year

Sandowne P.S.



250 kg/year

Wilson Avenue P.S.



275 kg/year


770 trees planted

Cumulative average of 1,925 kg/year

*1000 kg in one metric tonne

Want to Get Involved? 

Sponsor a Microforest 

  • Each microforest costs $5,000 to plan, plant and maintain
  • Minimum donation amount is $1,000
  • Recognition with your logo on our site-specific sign and on social media

Donate Land 

  • Minimum 500 square feet, though it doesn’t have to be in any specific shape and can even be spread over a couple of different areas
  • Recognition with your logo on our site-specific sign and on social media

Adopt a Microforest: Volunteer Planting and Maintenance

  • Host a volunteer day and plant a site—it’s a great team building exercise and we’ll supply lunch for your busy crew!
  • Support us in maintaining our existing sites
  • Recognition with your logo on our site-specific sign and on social media

If you’re ready to get started on planting a small forest that can make a BIG difference, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!

Fill out this form to get involved!