News Release: Kitchener’s first memorial microforest honours loved ones

Kitchener, Ontario – The City of Kitchener, Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO-MR) and Sustainable Waterloo Region are inviting Kitchener residents to plant a tree or shrub in the City’s first microforest on parkland in honour of loved ones on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Voisin Park in Kitchener.

“As we come together to plant new trees and shrubs in Voisin Park, we honour not only the memory of loved ones but also our commitment to the environment,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “A special thank you to Sustainable Waterloo Region through their microforest planting program for their environmental leadership and to Bereaved Families of Ontario for partnering with the City on this initiative.”

The 100 trees and shrubs are being added to Voisin Park’s existing greenspace and are being planted as part of Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Microforest Planting Program. Microforests are small area of land that are returned to a natural state through the planting of native trees and shrubs. The initiative is also supported with funding through the Government of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees commitment.

“Sustainable Waterloo Region has worked with the local conservation authority to carefully select a variety of broadleaf, conifers and shrubs to plant that will benefit the local ecosystem,” said Emma Fox, Community Engagement Coordinator, Sustainable Waterloo Region.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with tree and shrub planting taking place in the morning, followed by a dedication ceremony with music from local musician Katy Topham. Facepainting and crafts will also be available. Proceeds from the event support BFO-MR’s grief peer grief support programs and education and outreach initiatives.

“The memorial microforest will serve as both a collective expression of grief and love, while having a positive impact on the environment,” said Jaime Bickerton, BFO-MR Executive Director. “We are grateful to be creating a space where people can come back to visit, reflect and spend time, particularly for those who may not have a physical location to honour their loved ones.”

Registration is required, and the deadline is September 15. Register early – trees and shrubs are available while qualities last.

Full event details can be found at

The event aligned with the City’s urban forestry canopy targets and immediately follows National Tree Day on September 20, 2023, a day when Kitchener residents appreciate trees and the many benefits they provide.


For more information, contact:
Shawn Falcao, Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Kitchener

Jaime Bickerton, Executive Director
Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region Emma Fox, Community Engagement Coordinator
Sustainable Waterloo Region