Last Friday, students from St. Nicholas Catholic School got out of the classroom to help the former 10,000 Trees Project launch into its next phase as the rebranded Ten Thousand Forests project. The tree plant ceremony took place at the nature centre at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area.
“We’re passing on the shovel to the next generation,” said volunteer Rick Relf, who has been part of the organization for about as long as program founder, city Coun. Mark Whaley.
Beginning about 15 years ago, Whaley wanted to make Waterloo greener. So, he came up with a goal — plant 10,000 trees in 10 years on city land.
That goal was surpassed in 2007, faster than anyone expected, and 10,000 Trees, and its army of volunteers, kept at it.
“We’ve decided to put away the counter and keep planting,” said Whaley. “We have a new team of young, high-spirited and successful volunteers. They’re bigger thinkers and have bigger goals to make a difference.”
Ten Thousand Forests also has a new executive director, Tessa Jennison. A Waterloo native, Jennison earned her Bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Waterloo.