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Trees Ontario Foundation joins with Tree Canada in supporting urban forests programs

Ottawa: August 20, 2007 – Tree Canada President Michael Rosen announced today the list of the winning 2007/08 communities under the Green Streets Canada program. The 16 winning communities successfully demonstrated their innovation and creative approaches in helping green Canada through their urban forest programs. The announcement was made at the Forests in Settled Landscapes conference at the University of Toronto.

“Without our corporate partners, states Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada, we could not have made the Green Streets Program possible this year. Trans Canada Corporation, BC Hydro and the Trees Ontario Foundation have all stepped up to the plate to make this happen.” Green Streets Canada, which began in 1994, was previously funded by Natural Resources Canada.

Green Streets Canada is the flagship program of Tree Canada and is the country’s only national urban-forest innovation initiative. It rewards municipalities that have gone beyond the call of duty and have recognized the importance of ensuring the survival of trees in their urban communities. This year, $189,000 in funding will go to 16 municipalities to help support their urban forest programs. Submissions for funding are evaluated based on innovation, community support and applicability to other jurisdictions. More than 370 municipalities have participated in the Green Streets program since its inception. The funds are used for projects that develop tools and practices that sustain and promote the health of urban forests, including state-of-the-art municipal planning guidelines, community tree stewardship, outreach and awareness, and plant inventory programs.

This year’s winners are:

No. Municipality Sponsor
1 Kelowna, BC BC Hydro
2 Langford, BC BC Hydro
3 Langley, BC BC Hydro
4 Prince George, BC BC Hydro
5 Surrey, BC BC Hydro
6 Brampton, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
7 Brockton, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
8 Marathon, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
9 North Bay, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
10 Ottawa, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
11 Pembroke, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
12 Vaughan, ON
13 Wasaga Beach, ON Trees Ontario Foundation
14 Québec City, QC Trans Canada
15 St-Hubert de la Rivière du Loup, QC Trans Canada
16 Lachute, QC Trans Canada

These winners are among the 49 proposals received at Tree Canada. Craig Huff, Forester for the City of Ottawa said, “Our municipality achieves success in its tree planting initiatives such as the Trees, Reforestation and Environmental Enhancement (TREE) Program through partnerships. Tree Canada funding has allowed us to expand the scope of our local partnerships with Ottawa’s school groups and community associations as the City facilitates tree projects that instill a pride of ownership and which involves Ottawa’s residents in the planting, but also the maintenance, of trees .

“The Trees Ontario Foundation is very pleased to partner with Tree Canada in supporting urban forest programs in 8 cities across Ontario,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO of the Trees Ontario Foundation. “The growth and restoration of our urban forests play a vitally important role in protecting our city environments and we are very pleased to be a partner with them in this effort.”

“BC Hydro values its partnership with Tree Canada Foundation. As a corporate citizen who supports the Urban Forest as a vital component of the livability and quality of live of the communities we serve, we are pleased to be able to work with Tree Canada Foundation and the municipalities to advance this objective. Tree Canada plays a vital role in soliciting, evaluating and supporting the municipal proposals” says Brian Fisher of BC Hydro.

Green Streets Canada allows municipalities large and small, to take advantage of the benefits trees provide. Every time a new tree is put into the ground, it immediately begins to absorb carbon and produce oxygen while purifying the air we breathe. Green Streets winners understand how trees beautify the area, create natural wind and noise screens and reduce the need to heat and air-condition homes and places of work. They also provide homes for small animals and birds reduce soil runoff from erosion and allow all residents to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. To date it has engaged Canada’s top companies, public agencies, individuals and volunteers to support the planting and maintenance of over 74 million trees, the re-greening of over 400 schoolyards, seven national urban forest conferences, 30 carbon neutral conferences and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of maintaining and planting trees.