Forests Ontario

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Fighting Climate Change One Tree at a Time

May 21, 2008 – Ontarians are being challenged to plant trees in their yards, their neighbourhoods and their communities to help green the environment and fight the effects of climate change.

Planting trees is vital to the health of Ontario. Trees clean the air, help combat climate change, increase wildlife habitat, provide shade and help prevent flooding.

This challenge complements the McGuinty government’s plan to plant 50 million trees, which is the most ambitious project of its kind in North America and the single largest commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has set up a website at where people can tell the world how they’re fighting climate change by planting trees. They can send in stories and photographs of their tree-planting events, highlight how many trees they’ve planted, and find useful information about planting trees and its benefits.


“I’m proud that Ontarians are working together across the province to fight climate change by planting trees,” said Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield. “I look forward to seeing many more people join the fight and take a leading role in our Plant A Tree challenge.”


  • While they are growing, trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change, and convert it into the main components of wood, including cellulose, to form stems, branches and roots.
  • Planting 50 million trees will result in the storage of about 3.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2054.
  • In the first phase of the 50 Million Tree program, the Ministry of Natural Resources will invest up to $4 million and partner with Trees Ontario to work with agencies such as Ontario Stewardship councils, conservation authorities and contractors to do large-scale tree planting in rural areas of southern Ontario.