Trees Ontario and Green Streets Program Supports Windsor’s Community Greening Project
On Saturday, Oct. 4, residents of Windsor and Essex County planted hundred of native trees and shrubs in the area surrounding the WFCU Centre on McHugh Street in east Windsor.
With funds obtained from the Essex Region Conservation Authority through the Ministry of Environment, residents expanded the Carolinian urban forest while they helped protect the water quality in the Detroit River. Additional monies were received from Trees Ontario, the Tree Canada Foundation, and Environment Canada Great Lakes Sustainability Fund.
“The WFCU Centre is about people and encouraging healthy lifestyles through recreation both inside and outside of the facility,” said Mayor Eddie Francis. “This partnership between government and community organizations not only results in positive benefits to the environment, it allows us to enhance the parkland surrounding the Centre and adds to our quality of life.”
The Essex Region Conservation Authority provided $70,000 in Ministry of the Environment funding for water quality enhancement and tree planting activities at the site. These activities will protect and enhance the Little River, which flows adjacent to the WFCU Centre.
Environment Canada Great Lakes Sustainability Fund provided $20,000 for the greening project.
Tree Canada in coordination with Trees Ontario not-for-profit organizations established to support greening initiatives, provided $9, 570.00. for the project.
Ed Borczon representing Tree Canada presented the 2008-2009 Green Streets Canada Award to Parks and Recreation, honouring its demonstrated innovation and creative approaches in helping green Canada through its urban forest programs.
Parks and Recreation organized local volunteers into work groups to plant Carolinian trees in the 40-acre property.
The youth, seniors, members of sport groups and environmentalists wearing their work boots and carrying shovels helped green the new recreation centre. The morning activity included an official welcome from Mayor Francis at 11:30 am, refreshments, and an opportunity to see the community rinks in use.
The WFCU, located at 8787 McHugh Street, is a 302,000 square foot facility that includes a spectator rink with seating for 6,500 people, a restaurant, three NHL-size community rinks, a community centre and a senior centre. The entire facility is expected to open in December 2008.
The community greening has also received assistance from the Arbor Week Committee and Union Gas.