Forests Ontario

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Etobicoke Residents Help Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program

Etobicoke/Mimico – April 19, 2008 – More than 250 residents joined the Hon. Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources and MPP for Etobicoke Centre, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore Laurel Broten, and City Councillor Peter Milczyn at Etobicoke’s Tom Riley Park today to help plant 385 native trees and shrubs as part of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program.

Hosted by the South Mimico Environmental Action Group, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), City of Toronto and Trees Ontario, this event contributed to Ontario’s goal to plant 50 million trees by 2025, a commitment made by Premier McGuinty as Ontario’s part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

“Ontario’s commitment to the United Nations is the largest of its kind,” said Cansfield. “Today’s event was just one opportunity for local Ontarians to be involved in helping the province to achieve this target.”

The goal of this community event was to plant more trees, promote the importance of the urban forest and restore the health of the Mimico Creek watershed.

“These events not only enhance and green our community spaces, but they generate awareness around the importance of conservation and help us to realize that small steps can achieve big results,” said Laurel Broten, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

“As part of the 50 Million Program, Trees Ontario is very pleased to be involved in this community event by donating the trees and facilitating the workshops,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. “Planting healthy trees on both rural and urban landscapes is essential to the success of this program.”

“It is encouraging to see so many Etobicoke residents participating in this community clean up and tree planting event. I am hopeful that future generations will continue this commitment to our environment,” said Councillor Peter Milczyn, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ward 5.

“We are delighted to see local groups, businesses and schools pitching in with so much enthusiasm. Mimico Creek needs a lot of help to restore environmental health but we are optimistic that we can achieve our goals through community partnerships like this one,” said Suzanne Barrett, Chair of the Etobicoke and Mimico Watersheds Coalition.

Media Contacts

Lisa Hastings-Beck

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Toronto and Region Conservation

416.661.6600 ext. 5632

Elissa Schmidt

Manager of Communications

Trees Ontario

416.646.1193 ext. 232

South Mimico Environmental Action Group

The Etobicoke and Mimico Watersheds Coalition is composed of volunteer citizens and members of community groups as well as municipal representatives (Caledon, Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto) who work with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) to achieve The Living Cityª vision of healthy rivers and shorelines and sustainable communities.

The South Mimico Environmental Action Group is a local sub-committee of the Coalition focused on implementing the Etobicoke and Mimico Creek Watersheds management strategy at the local level. It provides a forum for public input and helping Toronto and Region Conservation to determine the specific needs and actions required for the restoration of the South Mimico Community Action Area. Specifically, this group is focused on terrestrial and aquatic habitat restoration and water quality improvement in the lower region of Mimico Creek through research, advocacy, annual community clean up events and local plantings in parks and schools.

Toronto and Region Conservation

Since its formation in 1957, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) has prepared and delivered programs for the management of the renewable natural resources within its watersheds. Toronto and Region Conservation provides: protection, enhancement and regeneration of natural resources on a watershed basis, sound environmental information and advice to promote good land management practices, community action on environmental projects, conservation education and heritage programs through our outreach education programs. Their mission is to work with their partners to ensure that The Living City is built upon a natural foundation of healthy rivers and shorelines, green space and biodiversity, and sustainable communities. The quality of life on Earth is being determined in the rapidly expanding city regions. Toronto and Region Conservation’s vision is for a new kind of community–The Living City–where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature’s beauty and diversity.

City of Toronto

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.