When It Got To Be Less About The Trees And More About The People

In my last post I was talking about how wonderful it is that the StreetTree project is bringing so many communities together. Well I'm going to continue talking about that a little more in this post because I'm incredibly excited about yet another community-bridging event as we're tagging along with the fundraiser breakfast for the Perkin's Center to give away trees this coming Saturday! The Perkins Center will be having a breakfast fundraiser June 14 starting at 9am at the Perkins Center (beside the McMaster ARCH) on Main and Kenilworth. The StreetTree project will be joining them with a table set up to collect tree requests in exchange for cute-as-a-button buttons! Come get a tree, volunteer with us, or even stop by for breakfast and a "hello"!(look here for more info:http://raisethehammer.org/wots/2268/pancakes_at_perkins)

Volunteers (l to r) Meghan, Josh and Elizabeth
We're excited for an event where we might get to reach a larger portion of the Crown Point community, but we're also really happy with how the door-to-door canvassing is going! We've had even more volunteers out last week and have volunteers lined up for this week. We have gotten to know quite a few people in the McAnulty Ave. neighbourhood, and I'm so grateful for it! I feel as though every resident who comes to the door and spends their precious time speaking to us about trees, air pollution, their community, their gardens, the things that bother them, and what it is they love about their homes, just makes my day a thousand times over! When canvassing, one of the wonderful people we got to meet was Maria, a McAnulty local who's 90 years old (but doesn't look a day over 65!) and has lived there many many years. Maria owns a beautiful corner house with a lovely garden and plenty of gorgeous trees surrounding it. She told us about how she moved to Hamilton many years ago from Switzerland. She told us about how much she loves Canada and Hamilton and the place where she lives. She told us how her and her husband planted every one of those trees in their yard when they first built the house. We had some really lovely chats, and Maria even extended an invitation for coffee next time we go by.

Josh knocking on doors
Volunteer Anna (keep an eye out for a hilarious blog post from her soon!)
Many others are similarly welcoming. For example, Edna and Ron, who live on McAnulty, we met just by chance. Their lawn is paved, so at first we were going to just walk by, but since the two of them were sitting on their front porch we decided to let them know what we were up to in the neighbourhood. It's a great thing we did because not only are they a pleasure to bump into whenever we're around, but they also referred us to their next door neighbour, as well as their son a few doors down, both of whom requested trees! Edna and Ron also requested a tree for the boulevard in front of their street.
It really is a wonderful neighbourhood, and I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend there. One of our survey questions (we bring around a survey with our tree request forms) asks about neighbourhood issues, specifically if residents think that a lack of green space or air pollution are problems, and what other problems might exist. When I asked one resident that question she replied by telling me that she really loves that neighbourhood; she was saying, "A lot of people think there's nothing but industry North of Center Mall, it's like they forget we're here, this neighbourhood is a nice haven".