This tree is good. But I'd love to see a whole forest out here. And it's been proven that forests have a positive impact on your mental health and I definitely find that with me so if we could have a whole forest out here that would be amazing.

We can see examples of environmental equity injustices all around us. But relating to Little Forests Kingston there's instances within our own municipalities where marginalized communities are underserved by some of our environmental policies towards forested spaces. Oftentimes low incomes neighbourhoods have much lower tree canopy coverage and the greenspaces in those neighbourhoods aren't as well maintained. That's one thing Little Forests Kingston has been doing some amazing work on, specifically around Kingscourt but hopefully in more neighbourhoods to come. Really, the philosophy of wanting to build a City in a Forest has beautiful environmental impact and those environmental impacts also translate into some really inspiring approaches to environmental equity and changing our perspectives around helping with systemic barriers facing some of our communities in the city.

There's also such an important connection between education and forested spaces. I have a lot of hope that we can work towards creating spaces for youth that appreciate and implement the multitude of benefits that trees graciously provide to humans and other species. We can work towards creating those greenspaces that support native species and reject the ultra structured, manicured and controlled landscaping techniques that we often see around schools which will help to bring together different groups of students and foster connections throughout our school community.

We can take in the mental health benefits of being surrounded by trees for studying and lessons. We can develop a kinesthetic understanding of the sciences, arts, and all our relations in these forest spaces. We can plant species that produce fruits and nuts and vegetables to use in the culinary arts and teach students how to grow their own food. And rather beautifully I think we can create outdoor spaces that encourage students to socialize and gather around trees to promote an understanding and admiration for the environment that we live in.

I love trees. I'm in awe of their ability to communicate and support one another. And I really think our schools are capable of not only fostering that love in students but also using the techniques of the forest and using trees as a way to make students feel a little bit more at ease and engaged while they're at school. Which is wonderful.