Community Tree Planting
Growing the urban forest canopy
Our Community Tree Planting Events program aims to engage community members in planting trees across our City to grow the urban forest canopy.
Growing the urban forest is a Council and City priority. Trees improve air and water quality, help control flooding, beautify neighbourhoods, reduce energy use, provide habitat for wildlife, and provide recreational opportunities. We want our community to have a say in where trees are planted and remove barriers to make it happen.
A list of available sites has already been pre-vetted by the City of Hamilton’s Forestry section and appropriate stakeholders. Please contact [email protected] to access the list.
If you have suggestions for additional sites, please complete the online form with your preferred site. Note that the site must be on City-Owned land and that City staff must investigate the site prior to approval. For this reason, you may not be able to plant your preferred site the same year as requested.
Setting a target of trees planted based on volunteers will help ensure you have a successful event. On average, a site with 30 volunteers are able to plant 300 trees in 4 hours.
On your tree planting event day, all volunteers must sign the Community Tree Planting Participant List and Liability Waiver which the team leader must email to [email protected].
Additional Program Information
Please read all program information prior to submitting your application.
Event Organizer's Responsibilities
- Select a group leader and complete the online intake form and team leader volunteer consent form
- Ensure volunteers are aware that they will be required to sign a liability waiver the day of planting
- Ensure volunteers are aware of and have read the safety tips
- Have the necessary number of volunteers for the number of trees requested. Forestry staff can provide support in determining an appropriate number of volunteers, if required
- Ensure that volunteers are prepared to commit the required hours to plant the number of trees requested. Forestry staff can provide support in determining hours required based on tree number and volunteer attendance, if required
- Book the Community Clean Trailer, if required and provide the needed resources the day of planting, see resources drop down menu
- The group leader shall ensure that volunteers sign the liability waiver attendance sheet the day of planting. The group leader is responsible for sending a copy of the sign-in sheet to forestry staff at [email protected], a maximum 5 working days after the event has occurred
- Communicate to volunteer’s health and safety protocols on the day of planting
- Provide city-owned land to plant trees and support in site selection to ensure that the necessary stakeholders are consulted and that the site has been investigated, including public or private locates
- Provide support in species selection and quantity identification
- Provide the opportunity for community event organizers to suggest planting locations
- Prepare the selected site prior to planting and stake the planting boundary
- Coordinate with the Community Tree Planting Event Group Leader to select a tree-planting day, and an alternate day in case of inclement weather
- Provide support the day of planting. This includes tree delivery, tree unloading, guidance on planting boundary, support for tree planting best practices and watering post-planting
- Staff will return to the site a year later to determine mortality and lessons learned
Available resources from the City:
- Topsoil, site dependent
- Tree guards
- Coco mats
- Forestry staff the day of planting
- A watering truck the day of planting to water the trees
- Community Clean-up Trailer for access to shovels, brooms, first aid kit, pruners, hoses, wheelbarrow. For more information and to book visit Community Clean-up Trailer.
Event organizers provide:
- Shovels, gloves, etc. either through individual volunteers or booking the Community Clean Trailer
- Volunteers will be responsible to bring their own sunscreen, drinking water, shade hats, etc.
- The volunteers!
The following are guidelines that must be considered for all Community Planting Events.
It is the responsibility of the group leader to communicate the safety guidelines at the Community Planting event kick-off:
- Identify, evaluate and eliminate Health and Safety risks to ensure that hazards are managed
- Gloves and/or hand protection should always be worn
- Appropriate footwear must be worn while work is being performed, sandals are not permitted
- Loose or hanging jewelry and clothing must not be worn in any area where it could get caught and cause bodily harm
- Volunteers should avoid working alone, pair volunteers
- Volunteers should avoid working or coming into contact with infectious materials (any device such as a needle, syringe, or item that could cut or puncture and cause infection, disease, or infect an open wound). Volunteers must notify the group representative who then must notify City staff. Only properly trained coordinators or City staff are permitted to remove these items
- Volunteers should not work under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Do not pick up anything that is too awkward or too heavy
- Sun and skin protection are a vital concern; you are required to provide your own sun protection and insect repellent
- Bring a phone to call for help (9-1-1) in case of an emergency
- You are required to supply your own first aid kit. The kit should be readily available and include, at a minimum, bandages, a compression bandage, antiseptic swabs and tweezers
Submit an application
Applications are reviewed on a first come first serve basis, so submit your application early to secure your community group planting event. Events are scheduled in September to October.
- Minimum number of tree plantings for one event is 50 trees
- Maximum number of tree plantings for one event is 300 trees (unless otherwise approved by the City)