Meet the Londoners working to make a meaningful difference in our community
Paul Hendrikx, Owner and Lawyer, Paul J. Hendrikx, Barrister and Solicitor
Passion: ReForest London
“A NUMBER OF years ago, I was looking for somewhere to volunteer. I’ve always liked plants, trees specifically, so I participated in a couple of tree plantings with ReForest London. It was a fun way to spend a few hours. It’s nice to get your hands dirty, and at the end of the day you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
I’m now into my fourth year on the board of directors. I joined as a director and chair of the governance committee. Now, I’m also corporate secretary on the executive. I still get out to plant trees about once a year—not as often as I’d like.
We’re an organization that brings people together—the more volunteers we have, the more we can accomplish. Donations also help a lot and give us the flexibility to make programs happen.
There have been lots of studies that show the benefit of trees, and we are always trying to find new ways to build the city’s canopy. ReForest London started the Million Tree Challenge in partnership with the City of London and other organizations in 2011. Anyone in the city who plants a tree can go onto our website and register it. We’re up to more than 400,000 trees so far, close to halfway there.
Our projects vary from year to year, and we try to mix it up. We’re just finishing up the second year of running our Neighbourhood Tree Depots, where we give away trees that are native to this area for people to plant in their yards. And our Celebration Forest is an ongoing naturalization project sponsored by donors who wish to plant trees in celebration or in memory of a loved one.
We’re a working board, and we try our best to support the great staff that we have. It’s usually a three-year commitment, but I’ve passed the three-year mark and I have no intention of leaving.”
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