Trees at Orillia Camp Funded by Trees Ontario
Longford Mills, Simcoe County – August 16, 2008 – Trees Ontario joined staff, campers and directors of Camp Couchiching today to recognize 600 trees planted at the camp in May through funding from Trees Ontario.
The planting continues Trees Ontario’s commitment to increase the forested landscape of Ontario’s private lands by supporting local tree planting initiatives. Camp Couchiching, near Orillia, offers integrated programs for children with special medical needs, like those with asthma. This gives them the often rare chance to experience overnight camp. The 600 trees are great news for these campers in particular.
As the trees mature and increase the camp’s tree canopy, more carbon dioxide will be captured, resulting in better air quality for the whole camp, but especially campers with asthma and other respiratory issues. One healthy mature tree releases enough oxygen back in the atmosphere to support two human beings for one year. This is in addition to the trees providing more shade, boosting the health of the area’s watershed and reducing soil erosion.
“This tree planting is a particular win-win situation for Trees Ontario and Camp Couchiching,” noted Michael Scott, Trees Ontario President and CEO. “The 600 new, healthy trees planted at the camp are a wonderful addition to our own tree planting targets. Knowing they will benefit campers with respiratory issues is an added fantastic bonus for everyone”.
“At Camp Couchiching we strive to provide excellence in camping and outdoor experience for children of all ages”, remarked Debbie Dew, the camp’s Board of Directors Chair. “The recent tree planting initiative and the efforts of Trees Ontario will go a long way in supporting this vision by not only beautifying the camp, but in providing future education and awareness opportunities. I would like to thank Trees Ontario for all of their help in making this project happen.”
Camp Couchiching is an independent charitable organization that provides programs for youth throughout Ontario. As a residential Summer Camp and Outdoor Education Centre, “Cooch” has identified integration as one of its chief priorities. With that in mind, there is a focus on the integration of youth through a variety of methods. As a non-profit organization, the camp subsidizes many of the camper experiences offered, ensuring that children from all socioeconomic levels are able to attend camp.
In addition to a qualified staff team, Cooch also staffs a health center with both Registered Nurses and Respiratory Therapist. This allows children with special medical needs or respiratory disorders to thrive at camp. In 2004, the “Pathways” program was launched, devoted to the integration of campers who require enhanced supervision, and social integration. With an affiliation to Epilepsy Ontario, 30 campers with Epilepsy are welcomed to the camp each year during the first summer session. The camp exemplifies a community where all kids can thrive, and although it’s difficult to tackle one single issue, the camp’s philosophy is that any child is welcome.
Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest, not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities. Trees Ontario is also partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to help deliver the Ontario government’s commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2025.
The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province’s tree planting capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils, municipal governments and community volunteer groups.
Last spring Trees Ontario, with its partners, planted nearly 3 million trees. Its goal is to increase tree planting to 10 million trees every year by 2015.