In June 2012, Will and his father, Randy, attended Branch Out Burlington’s! (BOB!) annual tree walk. Afterwards, they approached BOB! for projects they could help with. They decided that Randy and his sons would prune the suckers that often grow around the base of some street trees. They set out to take care of the trees on the streets around their home. From the time school ended until mid-September, 3 times per week for 2 to 3 hours each time, Will climbed on his bike, accompanied by his father and sometimes his brother, and set out in search of trees needing their help. Over the course of the summer, Will and his family clocked over 100 hours caring for trees around the city, covering at least 9 street miles.
News quickly spread to teachers at Will's school and he was asked to relate his volunteer efforts to the entire school. He has been talking to his father about giving similar talks at other neighborhood schools. In addition to his pruning efforts, Will also took part in one of the summer Weeding Bees at the Burlington Community Tree Nursery, where he spent several hours weeding saplings destined for planting out on the streets this coming spring. While his work certainly benefited the city trees, he also gained valuable knowledge and experience relevant to trees that are bound to come in useful in the future.