Annual Community Planting Weekend Supports Local Green Grassroots Efforts
Southern Ontario, May 9, 2011 – Trees Ontario and its partners kicked off the spring planting season last week with a series of community tree planting events held in local communities across Ontario. The hands on activities took place in public spaces needing to be re-greened, and gave local residents the opportunity to plant their very own local legacy.
The first community tree plant took place in Gwillimbury East on Thursday May 5 in partnership with The Regional Municipality of York. The event brought together the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, your worship, Virginia Hackson, Mayor, East Gwillimbury, municipal employees, families and members of the general public to take part in a 3-hour tree planting activity and native tree seed workshop.
Over the Mother’s Day weekend, CAA South Central Ontario and Trees Ontario hosted five free community tree planting events across Ontario. Planting events took place in Orillia, Owen Sound, Kingston and Windsor on May 7 and Kitchener-Waterloo on May 8. These events provided CAA members, their families, friends and members of the local community with an opportunity to engage in local reforestation projects and to help re-green the province and their local area.
“CAA South Central Ontario is proud to have partnered with Trees Ontario for the past three years and that partnership is growing,” said Nick Parks, CEO. “We are committed to doing our part to help preserve the planet through tree planting and other environmental initiatives.”
Trees clean the air, filter the water and offset carbon emissions and, in turn, help enhance the health of our children and elderly. Experts have determined that a minimum forest cover level of 30 per cent is required for a healthy ecosystem. To replenish Ontario’s forests to this minimum forest cover level, it will take over a billion trees. Trees Ontario, the largest, not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America, is leading the way to help address this need.
“Trees Ontario’s mandate is to support large scale tree planting, province wide,” said Robert H Keen, CEO, Trees Ontario. “Our community planting activities enable us to get out with local partners and residents to further support re-greening initiatives in both rural and urban spaces and to raise awareness about the need to significantly raise our annual tree planting rates. Corporate supporters like CAA allow us to get into these communities to provide local, grass root initiatives.”
In the next 3 weeks, Trees Ontario, working with its 65+ planting partners, will plant close to 3 million trees across the province. By the end of the month, a total of 13 million trees across the province, with approximately 2,500 landowners will have been planted under Trees Ontario’s programs since 2004.
Increases in overall tree planting support and funding is in large part due to the Ontario government’s commitment to fight climate change with its 50 Million Tree Program.
“By planting trees, we’re taking action to make sure our children inherit a world with clean air, clean water and a healthy abundance of nature,” said Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources. “It’s one of the wisest investments we can make on behalf of our province, our planet and our kids.”
Trees Ontario and its partners are thankful to all the families and community groups who dug, stomped and mulched in rain and shine to participate in a very meaningful project that will have significant environmental benefits for various communities throughout Ontario.
With a billion more trees needed, everyone needs to be part of the solution to help Ontario reach that goal. Together, we can help re-green Ontario now and for future generations. One tree at a time.
Stay tuned for more event photos coming soon!