On November 6th, Speak for the Trees held a tree planting and giveaway event at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, generously sponsored by TD Bank thanks to a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. The event was incredibly successful, with our highest volunteer turnout of all our fall events!
We started our morning with an uplifting welcome from our Executive Director, David Meshoulam. He thanked volunteers and cemetery staff for their roles in making this planting happen. He shared that no new trees had been planted at Fairview in 10 years, adding historic meaning to the 40 trees we were going to plant.
Volunteers followed tree care professionals from tree care company Harrison McPhee to the site of the first tree to be planted. The Harrison McPhee representatives showed volunteers how to properly plant trees.
Volunteers then split into 4 planting groups, each led by a staff member of Speak for the Trees and Harrison McPhee. Each group was responsible for planting 10 trees in pre-selected locations. Our 25 volunteers were of all ages, from young children accompanying their parents to schoolchildren and older adults.
In addition to our tree planting event, we distributed free trees for residents to plant in their private yards. Among the available species were:
- American Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana, native to eastern North America)
- Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis, native to eastern North America)
- Nuttall Oak (Quercus texana, native to southeastern United States)
- Norway Spruce (Picea abies, native to northern, central, and eastern Europe)
- Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika, native to eastern Europe)
- Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum, native to eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan)
- Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica, native to the east coast of North America)
- River Birch (Betula nigra, native to eastern United States)
By the end of the event, we gave away a total of 25 trees to 20 people, including a mix of pre-registrants and walk-ups. Similarly to the Franklin Park Zoo Howl event we participated in the previous weekend, many of our walk-ups were pleasantly surprised and excited by the opportunity to get free trees for their property.
One recipient came to the giveaway hoping for an eastern redbud, but we were unsure if we had any left. Our staff checked the trees and came across a single tree that had lost all but one of its leaves. That one leaf was crucial for identifying the tree, which did in fact turn out to be an eastern redbud. The tree recipient was so excited to receive our very last eastern redbud that she literally jumped with joy!
Our fall events may have come to an end, but we’ll return in the spring with plenty more opportunities to pick up and plant trees. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about our upcoming events.