Post Plant Meeting 2014
OSHAWA, ON, June 25, 2014 – On June 23rd and 24th, Forests Ontario held its annual “post-plant” meeting to wrap up the 2014 planting season.
Held in Oshawa, this year’s conference brought together more than 85 representatives to discuss and review various aspects of the year’s tree plant planning and operations. The meeting served as an opportunity to unite planting partners from across the province with a goal to evaluate planting under the government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program.
The 50 Million Tree Program is a government of Ontario program, administered by Trees Ontario, which provides subsidies to property owners wishing to plant trees on their properties. The program assists eligible landowners with planting processes and costs in order to achieve its long-term target of planting 50 million trees by 2025.
The event’s discussions kicked off on June 23rd with an evening “fireside chat” with Forests Ontario’s Green Leaders, John and Rosemary Dunmore and Phil Holst. Designated as Green Leaders for their outstanding stewardship and tree planting efforts, they each shared their experiences with planting through the 50 Million Tree Program and discussed the positive outcomes resulting from their efforts.
Day two began with an introduction by Forests Ontario’s CEO, Rob Keen, who thanked participants and shared news of the 50 Million Tree Program’s expansion into northern Ontario. Keen discussed the recent merger between Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association and shared how the newly merged organization, as Forests Ontario, will continue to progress over the coming months and years. Over the course of the day, Forests Ontario Field Advisors and agency experts provided presentations on the progress of the program and shared some of the successes and challenges experienced over the 2014 planting season.
Neil Hayward, Manager of Stewardship and Conservation Initiatives from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources also provided attendees with program development updates and reiterated the great significance of the program.
Discussions centered on the impact of the delayed planting season due to weather conditions and the possibility of exploring fall planting for appropriate sites and species. Other areas of conversation included ways to improve landowner engagement in the program and the challenges faced by rising crop prices and inflation.
“The post-plant meeting is an amazing opportunity for partners across the province to gather together and share information and expertise on forest restoration,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Sharing information in this way allows us to stay on the pulse of new trends in forestry and gives us the opportunity to evaluate our challenges and successes planting under the 50 Million Tree Program.”
The day concluded with Mike Walsh, Program Manager of Program for Local Afforestation Network Training (PLANT), introducing five recent forestry graduates who will be placed with host agencies in 2014. The program, spearheaded by Forests Ontario, trains and mentors the next generation of forestry stewards by placing them with host agencies to gain experience in the forestry sector. Walsh shared the success of the program by highlighting that all three of the participants from 2013 had found permanent work in forestry beyond their prescribed placements. Walsh noted that he fully expects the same successes for 2014 trainees.
About Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness.
Forests Ontario is the lead delivery agent for the government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program. The program significantly cuts landowners’ costs of large-scale tree planting and boosts the number of trees planted across the province. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.
For more information, photos or to arrange an interview please contact:
Director of Communications & Development
p: 416-646-1193 ext. 232