Kay Ehas, CEO of GWJax, Dalton Smith, COJ urban forester and Cindy Stover, TD Bank market president plant the 25th live oak to be planted as part of the project along the Emerald Trail Biodiversity Corridor

On Mon. March 2, Groundwork Jacksonville (GWJax) and the City of Jacksonville (City), along with TD Bank Group (TD), the Arbor Day Foundation and community partners celebrated the completion of a $20,000 TD Green Space grant that GWJax and the City’s Urban Forestry unit were awarded last spring from TD and the Arbor Day Foundation. Jacksonville was one of 20 U.S. and Canadian cities selected to receive a grant, the purpose of which is to create healthier, more resilient communities.

It was a perfectly sunny, breezy day as more than 30 guests gathered for the grant celebration and ceremonial tree planting along the Emerald Trail S-Line Rail Link Biodiversity Corridor to see the projects funded by the grant. Kay Ehas, CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville welcomed everyone, followed by remarks by Dalton Smith, City urban forester, and Cindy Stover, TD Bank market president.

According to Ehas, “More than 300 volunteer hours were contributed to this project by the community, our Green Team Youth Corps and volunteers from TD Bank, Florida Blue, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Citi Bank, IFAS/Duval County Extension Office, Jacksonville University, Sanctuary on 8th Street and United Way of Northeast Florida.”

Guests toured the S-Line to see the projects funded by the grant, including bee hotels created by Jacksonville Art and Music School (JAMS), educational signage, a walking path built with GWJax’s Green Team Youth Corps, a pollinator garden, and a community herb and spice garden. The tree planted today is one of 25 planted along the S-Line Link over the last several weeks in conjunction with this grant. According to Dalton Smith, the trees were funded by the City’s mitigation fund. “By partnering with GWJax for this grant, we are able to stretch City’s budget and increase the impact of grants such as this one.”

TD Bank Volunteers planted a community herb and spice garden and cleaned up litter along the trail.

Following the event, 20 TD Bank employees prepped and planted the community herb and spice garden as part of a volunteer service day. “This project was a perfect fit for us, because not only did TD make a financial commitment, but our employees also were able to get involved first-hand as volunteers,” said Cindy Stover. “At TD Bank we are committed to supporting programs and initiatives like this that reflect our vision for a more vibrant planet. We appreciate our partnership with GWJax in helping us fulfill that vision,” she added.

According to Dalton Smith, “We wanted to work with GWJax on this grant due to its experience in installing green infrastructure. Furthermore, this collaboration has again shown all that can be accomplished when public and private resources combine to simultaneously beautify a historically underserved community while providing educational experiences.”

The TD Green Space Grant program is a component of The Ready Commitment, TD’s corporate citizenship platform designed to help create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. TD provides funding for the grants, which are awarded annually for tree planting, maintenance costs and educational activities, and the Arbor Day Foundation administers the program.

 About the Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.