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Trees Ontario and partners expect to plant 3 million much needed trees this spring

Ontario – March 23, 2011 – Trees Ontario is leading the way to help address Ontario’s need for a billion more  trees to achieve 30 per cent forest cover and a healthy ecosystem. Trees Ontario is re-establishing a tree planting infrastructure that will give it the ability to support the planting of 10 million trees a year in the province by 2015. This spring will be another successful tree planting season as landowners, planting partners, community groups and corporate partners such as CAA, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One and the Ontario government, support planting projects that will result in an estimated three million new trees going into the ground across the province. Building on this success and increased capacity year by year, Trees Ontario needs more landowners to get involved to help provide homes for new trees. There are particular opportunities for increased participation in programs in eastern Ontario and the Kawartha region.

“Ontario landowners are eager to lead the way in re-greening our province through their tree planting efforts,” said Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources. “Since the Ontario government’s 50 Million Tree Program was introduced in 2007, participation in the program has increased every year and we hope that trend continues.”

This winter hundreds of landowners from the areas of Brockville, Caledon, Fenella, Ingersoll, Cayuga, Elmvale and surrounding areas attended a free workshop series held by Trees Ontario, local planting partners, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). They learned about tree planting and the resources and incentives available to plant trees on their properties. Many new landowners have gotten involved in the 50 Million Tree Program over the past year, and there are opportunities for many more to take part too.

Greg Greer, Trees Ontario Field Advisor, presenting at a landowner workshop in Ingersoll, ON

“There are over 900,000 hectares of marginal land available in southern Ontario alone,” says Trees Ontario CEO, Robert H. Keen, RPF. “Marginal land no longer used by farmers or lands which lie along rivers and streams may be ideally suited for trees and we are seeking landowners with this type of land to consider taking part in a planting program.”

Since 2004, and post the spring 2011 plant, Trees Ontario and its 65 provincial partners will have planted over 13 million trees across the province, with approximately 2,500 landowners. Each year increasingly more tree seedlings are available through incentive programs such as the 50 Million Tree Program. Trees Ontario’s goal is to increase ongoing support to plant 10 million trees a year by 2015.

Trees clean the air, filter the water and offset carbon emissions and, in turn, help enhance the health of our children and elderly. To find out about community tree planting events taking place this spring, stay tuned to the Trees Ontario website.

Help us save our environment. One tree at a time.