We have been planting trees for more than 20 years. Our mission is to provide shade in public places for everyone in this generation.
Carol’s professional training began at McGill University where she received a degree in occupational therapy. While at McGill she enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities including exploring the shaded paths and slopes of Mount Royal. Her early occupational therapy work was in pediatrics which gave her insight into the needs of children to enjoy an active lifestyle. When she had her own children, she was keen to see how they would interact with their natural world. A chance visit to Mary Johnston Public School inspired her to launch a habitat restoration project which saw an otherwise barren schoolyard become a lush natural habitat once more.
The Mary Johnston Public School project met with widespread acceptance within the school, within the school board and from the wider community. At its peak more than 1500 trees and shrubs had been planted by over 2000 school children, parents, teachers and neighbours. The project won numerous local and national awards for its scope and quality. In 2002 Carol was nominated by the Canadian Wildlife Federation to receive a Queen’s Jubilee medal for her efforts to promote habitat rehabilitation amongst school children.
While the project was underway, and after the project was mostly complete, Carol struggled to encourage policies to protect habitat projects from systematic apathy and alteration which severely curtailed the original goals of each project. Too often once the volunteer labour had moved on to new projects Carol watched in disbelief as projects were destroyed under the guise of a variety of perceived threats and needs.
This new phase of advocacy encouraged Carol to pursue scientific research to provide hard evidence for an otherwise common-sense motherhood issue: the need to provide healthy, natural spaces for children (and children at heart) to spend time outdoors.