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Trees Ontario, GRCA Partner and Sebben Family Plant Memorial Forest

JULY 5, 2010 –  Kitchener/Waterloo – As a not-for-profit organization, Trees Ontario requires the financial support of donors, companies, small businesses and government to fund its various re-greening programs across the province.

In late 2008, Trees Ontario was approached by members of the Ken Sebben family.  They expressed a desire to support a project for an environmental cause, but more specifically, to an organization that could assist the family in planting a new native forest in southern Ontario.

As a past landowner in the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) watershed, Ken Sebben devoted much of his time to the planting and tending of his own woodlot, which spanned over 28 acres and he tended to for over 30 years. His woodlot held a variety of native species, including pine, oak, maple and spruce.

In recognition of his love for forests and his life, his family wanted to continue the woodlot tradition and expressed a keen interest in locating a public planting space that could become home to a new forest planted in honour of Ken Sebben.

Over the next year, Trees Ontario and the GRCA worked together to determine the site location, planting size, and the variety of suitable native tree species required. They also did site visits and preparation work required prior to planting, which included tilling the site, sowing a native seed nurse crop, and removing invasive species. Working together, the organizations planted over 9 hectares of new native tree seedlings and saplings, including species of oak, maple, pine, spruce and white cedar.

“It was a pleasure to work with Trees Ontario throughout this project,” said Lindsay Watchorn, GRCA Forestry Specialist. “Without the support of private donors such as the Sebben family, the GRCA could not implement important afforestation efforts throughout the watershed.”

“My father always took such pride in his woodlot,” said the daughter of Ken Sebben. “He would be proud to know that he supported the planting of over 15,000 new native trees on this public space that will be enjoyed by the community in years to come.”

“The Sebben partnership was a great way for Trees Ontario to further support one of its planting agency partners and a unique and memorable project,” added Rob Keen, Director of Operations. “This green legacy in honour of Mr. Sebben will be recognized as it grows and flourishes for many decades.”


Members of the Sebben family were on hand to recognize the Pioneer Tower planting project in honour of Mr. Ken Sebben.


A freshly planted tree seedling flourishes as part of the  planting site at Pioneer Tower in Kitchener-Waterloo.

To contribute to Trees Ontario’s planting efforts, please click here.