On October 18th, 2017, members from the S4S team planted trees in the Waterloo community. Traveling to Westmount Sports Park, members dedicated a few hours of their sunny Wednesday afternoon to digging holes and planting a variety of native trees and shrubs in the public park. 

This activity not only increases Waterloo’s urban forests and meadows, but also helps to improve the water quality of local streams, creates wildlife habitat (especially for pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies) and provides a diverse native seed source. By planting trees, we are helping to create a more sustainable ecosystem!

Not only does tree planting help the wildlife environment, but it is also helps our community members in numerous ways. The Ontario Health study linked the benefits of having more trees within a city and how that directly improves health perceptions, reduces cardio-metabolic conditions as well as reduces mental illnesses. The study found that by planting 11 additional trees within a city block decreases cardio-metabolic chances and drastically increases health perceptions. These findings alone directly showcase how easy a simple act such as planting a handful of trees can be in developing and bettering a community.

Citizens within the communities where tree planting initiatives take place have recorded to be healthier as they are constantly exposed to improved air quality than those without tree density. Higher levels of happiness have also been directly linked to citizens living within tree density communities as the mental image of green space has been proven to increase one's psychological development. All in all, the Ontario Health study was conclusive in that through the numerous variable measures and directly proved how planting trees within communities is a positive act where the benefits will be constantly felt over the long run.

This is the first of many Impact Projects that S4S will be hosting throughout the year. As a club focused on sustainability, one of S4S’s main goals is to provide events where students can make a direct impact.Through our unique Impact Project Program, members are exposed to opportunities within our community where they can make a positive environmental change. We’d like to thank our project sponsor, The Co-operators Centre for Business & Sustainability, for making it all possible!

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