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Volunteers from EDC spend the day planting 60 trees in Overbrook

Volunteers planted 60 trees in the Overbrook neighbourhood Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa) Volunteers planted 60 trees in the Overbrook neighbourhood Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)
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Ottawa Community Housing residents in Overbrook benefited from a major volunteer effort Thursday.

Two hundred employees from Export Development Canada spent the day working in the rain as part of their Community Investment Day.

Organized by Volunteer Ottawa in collaboration with Export Development Canada and Ottawa Community Housing, the initiative aimed to help revitalize the Overbrook neighbourhood.

"It's amazing. It's like a homecoming, coming back to an organization that made such an impact in the community," said Melissa Salvatore, an EDC employee.

Salvatore worked at OCH for 10 years. Now with EDC, she's come full circle, back to helping Ottawa Community Housing residents.

"Everyone deserves to live in a place that they can feel proud to live in. And if we can do some small part today to help contribute to that, it's a true privilege," Salvatore said.

"By working together, by having organizations like Volunteer Ottawa, and other groups, that help us to organize, to participate, we see really the impact and the beautification in our communities and the impact creating the pride of place in our communities," said Stephane Giguere, Ottawa Community Housing CEO.

"Ottawa Community Housing is one of our biggest members and they have a huge reach in the community. They need lots of helping hands. And when EDC stepped forward with an initiative like this, we're just so grateful," said Christine Trauttmansdorff, Volunteer Ottawa executive director.

In total, 60 trees were planted in this neighbourhood, many replacing trees that were lost two years ago during the derecho storm.

New mulch was also spread at a playground, and weeds and vines were cleaned up along fences.

"We have 1,600 people from EDC who are volunteering all over Ottawa today for 40 different charities, which is pretty extraordinary. And it really speaks to our values and our mission," said Susannah Crabtree, EDC senior vice-president of people and culture.

"All of these organizations are coming together and working to enhance volunteer opportunities in our neighborhoods, which really enrich our neighborhoods. And I like to see that," said Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Rawlson King.

The Overbrook community will now enjoy a brighter, cleaner environment thanks to the efforts of these dedicated volunteers.

"It really touched my heart to come back and have a community impact here today at an organization that really gave me my roots," Salvatore said. 

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