The trees are coming! The trees are coming!

Thanks to DECA’s amazing Tree for Me team for this post!

In an effort to increase tree cover in our neighbourhood, DECA is partnering with Tree for Me to give out free trees to Toronto residents. Together we are hosting two events on September 27th and 29th at East Lynn Park! To get your free tree, simply head over to and register for one of the DECA events. Each household is eligible to receive up to two free trees per season. Pick up the trees at the event and learn how to plant and take care of them. The trees will be a mini size and easy to carry home.

Please register by September 24 to reserve your tree. Walk-ups will also be welcome at the event for whatever tree is available.

Why plant more trees?

There are many great reasons for planting more trees but chief among them are the environmental benefits. By taking in carbon dioxide and turning it into oxygen, trees help to remove harmful fossil fuel emissions from our atmosphere. Below ground, tree roots prevent soil erosion by keeping the soil from being washed away. Tree roots also absorb and retain water and boost the water-holding capacity of the surround soil, which can help reduce flooding, especially in urban environments.

DECAxTreeForMe event posterLess well known are the public health benefits of trees. A 2014 study found that in one year alone, trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in the US. The researchers attributed this to the 17 tonnes of air pollution that trees removed from the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants. Other studies have shown that just looking at trees can help people lower their heart rates, reduce stress and even recover faster from surgery.

With all of these environmental and public health benefits, why aren’t we planting more trees? That’s where Tree for Me comes in. Tree for Me is a community-based partnership to help Toronto residents get free trees for their front and backyards. As part of the Every Tree Counts campaign sponsored by the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks and Tree Foundation, Tree for Me aims to boost the city’s tree cover to 40%

How it works

Step 1: Register for your free trees at Take a look online to choose your trees. They’ll be in mini size and easy to pick up.

Step 2: Come to the one of our events for your free trees and tree care workshop.

When: Thursday, September 27 from 3 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, September 29 from 10 am – 12 pm (workshop and tree pickup)

Where: It all happens at East Lynn Park, our workshop and tree pickup location!

For those with mobility issues, the City can come to your home on October 25th or 27th and plant your tree for you. If you live in a condo or cannot plant a tree in your backyard, we recommend the Serviceberry tree – they’re great on balconies or in planters. If the tree gets too big, you can always donate it back to the program!

Tip: Before you register, take Tree for Me’s short quiz to determine which tree you is right for you. The quiz will ask you a series of questions about where the tree will be planted (soil quality, amount of sunlight, etc…) and your goals for planting the tree (conserve energy, privacy, etc…). These questions will help match you with the best tree to suit your home’s environment and needs. All the trees provided through Tree for Me are native species to the area.

If you have questions about the event, please email or visit us at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. A tree for you, benefits for all!

Safety Update & Tree Workshop

Safety Update

DECA volunteers Diana Gibbs and Laurie Smith met up with Rob McDonald from Division 55 last week at CakeTown for a chat about neighbourhood safety. Here are their tips on keeping our vibrant community safe and welcoming over the summer:

“Active, busy neighbourhoods are the safest.”  That’s the message from Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer at Division 55 and good news for DECA – a beehive of activity over the summer. “DECA is a great example of promoting safety by building community and has made a huge difference along their stretch of the Danforth.”

DECA is served by Division 55 south of the Danforth and Division 54 north of the Danforth. Overall, our area has relatively few incidents but Rob stressed that residents should be sure to report any concerns or minor issues, such as car break-ins or noise complaints, by calling Central Alternative Responseat 416-808-2222.  Depending on the situation, they may send out a patrol car. But more important, these calls are tracked and reviewed weekly by the Division to look for patterns or areas for special focus.  “The community sets the standard and gives us valuable information; it’s not a crime if we don’t know about it.” he said.

This month, Division 55 officers are visiting all our local parks to “set the tone” for the summer and discourage late night private partying.   Rob also offered a few security tips for residents such as:

  • keep your front door and windows locked if you are gardening or entertaining in the backyard
  • ensure your car is locked  and there is nothing of value (even small change) in sight
  • lock up your strollers and bikes
  • driveways and lanes should be brightly lit; avoid dim (mood) lighting on front porches

Want to know more about crime prevention in our community? Check out the Facebook pages for Division 54 and Division 55 and you can also follow Rob on Twitter @tpsofficerrob. Ingrid Hannah is the Crime Prevention Officer for Division 54 and can be reached at (416) 808-5429.

Have a safe and happy summer!

P.C. Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer, Division 55
P.C. Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer, Division 55

Trees, Trees, Trees! Ward 31 Tree Workshop 

Join City of Toronto Forestry staff,  LEAF (Local Enhancement for the Appreciation of Forests) local tree advocates at a Tree Workshop for Ward 31 residents.

 Thursday June 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Danforth Mennonite Church
2174 Danforth Avenue
At the workshop, residents will have an opportunity to learn about green initiatives by the city, local groups and organizations to improve our environment. The evening will include presentations on how to preserve and expand the tree canopy in Ward 31. This will be a great opportunity to connect with other neighbours and plan local activities to green our neighbourhood.
Ward 31 Tree Worshop and Seminar Poster June 20 2013