Looking for a Free Native Tree for your School Grounds?

Written by: Sasha Benevides, Festival Coordinator

Calling Primary and Secondary Schools in the Halton Watershed!  Our School Ground Greening Program is looking for participants to receive a free native tree from Conservation Halton.

Not only are these trees a beautiful addition to your school grounds, they help us to increase forest cover and green space within the watershed for students and the community to enjoy.


A happy tree our team planted, mulched and protected with a tree cage to prevent any damage 🙂

How Schools Can Participate:

  1. Contact us at schoolgroundgreening@hrca.on.ca to get in touch with one of our friendly staff
  2. Contact your area supervisor to notify them of the proposed planting to make sure the new tree won’t interfere with any scheduled changes to the grounds
  3. Contact Ontario 1-Call (http://on1call.com/ or 1-800-400-2255) at least a week prior to our visit to make sure that there are no underground facilities that could interfere with the planting

Program Details

Plantings are carried out at the end of May and June and make for a great outdoor activity for classes or eco-clubs (the whole process takes between 1-2 hours). Pending availability, staff may also conduct a site visit at your request, should schools need guidance on tree and site selection.

Looking to plan a larger School Ground Greening project? We allow schools to purchase additional native trees/plants at a cost, using our discounted prices.

Interested in getting students involved? Our staff welcomes student participation, and love to share information about the importance of trees and the environment with booked groups and provide an anti-vandalism cage to help prolong the tree’s life and help it get established.

Pauline Johnson in Burlington

Benefits to Greening your Grounds

Students spend roughly 25% of their school day outdoors. Creating a naturalized school yard supports emotional and physical health to the local environment and school community. Improving local air quality, preventing erosion, and creating shade for students. School Grounds Greening also gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a natural environment, providing a calming space which has been linked to decreased anxiety and stress.

Photos from previous year’s projects:

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Taking Care of Your Tree and the Importance of Mulch

Like most plants, our donated trees will need to be watered the day of planting and about 1-2 times a week (if there is no rain) following our visit. If you’re worried about your tree getting enough water, feel free to use a rain gauge, or have the students monitor rain fall and extend the planting into a fun educational activity.

Oh, and don’t forget the mulch! Mulch is usually made up of decaying leaves, bark or compost that you spread around or over plants to build or insulate soil. Mulch helps trees to:

  • Retain moisture around its roots (very important during a drought)
  • Reduce the effects of soil compaction and protects the tree from lawn mower damage

Mulching isn’t just for new trees; it’s great for any tree on your grounds. Conservation Halton can provide contacts for the school to arrange free or inexpensive loads of mulch delivered right to the school, should you need it.

If you are a school in the Halton watershed looking for an environmental project at NO COST, please send an email or call us at 905-336-1158 EXT. 2329 or 2251 for more information on our School Ground Greening program.


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