7 September 2022
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We all need a bit of colour in our lives, and Marleni knows more than most how trees add vibrancy and joy wherever they are planted. She’s on a lifelong mission to make the world greener!

A piece of history

Marleni moved to the UK from Costa Rica a few years ago and found herself living on a residential street with absolutely no trees. As it turns out, the street had been heavily bombed during the Second World War, and her apartment building was the only surviving structure. Unlike a lot of city streets, the pavement is wide and could probably easily accommodate several trees. 

Marleni had previously got in touch with Tower Hamlets council to get some trees planted to help brighten up the street, so was pleased when a leaflet came through her door advertising their Trees for Streets scheme. She immediately jumped at the opportunity and sponsored a tree on her street. Her sponsored tree is also in memory of her late mother.

A lasting legacy

There is a school on Marleni’s street, and she’s delighted that the children will now pass by the tree as they come and go. She believes that being close to nature is really important for children. She says she was thinking of her own grandchildren too when she sponsored the tree.

This won’t be the only tree on the street. Marleni already has plans to sponsor a second, and maybe even a third!

In fact, Marleni has a long history of planting trees. Her belief in the power of nature is so strong, that she has already planted over 150 trees in her native Costa Rica. Now it’s London’s turn to benefit!

She really hopes that more residents will be inspired to sponsor a tree themselves.

The clear signs of a changing climate

Our climate is changing at an alarming rate – we’ve had such a hot, dry summer this year, and lots of trees have suffered.

I’m trying to do my bit and keep this tree watered, so hopefully it will thrive long term.
We need to plant more trees – everywherebut especially in our streets.


Trees make us feel happy!

Having spent most of her life surrounded by tropical green trees and lush landscapes of Costa Rica, Marleni knows first-hand how being around trees makes people feel amazing. The climate benefits are important of course, but she says she is passionate about the way trees can make us feel and quoted scientific studies to back it up. 

And it seems that the feeling has been picked up on by other people too. One of the neighbours has a small garden outside their house, and since the tree has gone in, they’ve filled it with colourful flowers. 

Trees have so many benefits

The benefits that trees bring to urban areas are amazing. They help us by:

  • Improving our mental and physical health 
  • Keeping streets and buildings cool
  • Absorbing pollution
  • Providing shade on sunny days
  • Creating habitats for wildlife
  • Reducing littering and fly-tipping
  • Encouraging calm and careful driving

…and generally making our neighbourhoods better places to live.

Sponsor a tree on your street

If you’d like to be like Marleni and help fill your street with trees, then please use our online sponsorship request app, which lets you pick a location on our interactive map.