Forests Ontario

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Almost 200 Volunteers in Cambridge, Niagara Falls, York Region, and Windsor Plant More Than 1000 Trees Towards the Goal of Planting Three Million Trees in 2017

TORONTO, May 6, 2017 – Today, Forests Ontario kicked off the 2017 planting season with four tree planting events across the province. In Cambridge, Windsor, Niagara, and York Region, volunteers joined us for the ninth annual Community Planting Weekend. Together, almost 200 volunteers planted more than 1000 trees, regreening public spaces in these communities.

(Right: In Cambridge, Brian May, MP for Cambridge; the Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP for Cambridge; and Helen Jowett, Chair, Grand River Conservation Authority, (left to right) get their hands dirty planting a butternut tree.)

This year’s Community Planting Weekend is also part of Ontario’s Green Leaf Challenge, an initiative from the Ontario government and Forests Ontario. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Green Leaf Challenge encourages everyone across Ontario to join together to plant and count three million trees. The Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, attended the event in Cambridge to encourage all Ontarians to get involved in making our province greener.

“Our forests and trees are among Ontario’s most powerful and enduring symbols,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “The Green Leaf Challenge is a way for all of us to come together and pay tribute to our province’s history and to create the foundation for a healthier future by growing Ontario’s forest cover. Forests Ontario applauds the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry for recognizing the importance of our urban forests and encouraging Ontarians to take action today.”

Anyone can support the Green Leaf Challenge by planting a tree at home, with their employer, or at a community planting event, then visiting greenleafchallenge.ca to add their trees to our online counter.

(Right: Volunteers in York Region were joined by (left to right) Christine Dawson, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; Mayor of East Gwillimbury, Virginia Hackson; Ian Buchanan, Manager of Natural Heritage & Forestry, Regional Municipality of York and Member of Forests Ontario’s Board of Directors; and Lauren and Kaitlin Grierson, ambassadors for Ontario’s Green Leaf Challenge.)

The Community Planting Weekend invites volunteers of all backgrounds to join us at parks, conservation areas, trails, and other public spaces across the province to plant trees and support our mission of making our province greener and healthier. This event is also a chance for volunteers to participate in greening and beautifying public spaces in their community and learn about the importance of trees and forests to our health and well-being.

Forests Ontario would like to thank all participants in the Community Planting Weekend and to our sponsors: TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Ontario Wood, Enbridge Gas Distribution, and Thompson Emergency Freight Services.

We’d also like to thank our partners who led our volunteers in planting and also secured and prepared all planting sites: City of Cambridge, Grand River Conservation Authority, City of Windsor, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Niagara Parks Commission, and Regional Municipality of York.

ABOUT FORESTS ONTARIO
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

For more information, photos, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jeannette Holder, Communications Manager, Forests Ontario

Ph: 416-646-1193 ext. 257

E: jholder@forestsontario.ca