Community members join Forests Ontario, Michael’s Hair Body Mind, and Credit Valley Conservation
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 24, 2014 – 100 large trees were planted today by more than 40 volunteers at an event hosted by Forests Ontario, Michael’s Hair Body Mind and Credit Valley Conservation on National Tree Day for a community tree plant at the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area in Mississauga.
The planting was led by Forests Ontario’s partners at Credit Valley Conservation, who guided volunteers, ranging from seasoned planters to first time planters, in replacing trees in the region that were destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
The EAB is an invasive insect from Asia that was first detected in Canada in 2002 and is responsible for killing ash trees. It is estimated that the EAB has killed millions of ash trees across North America and has had a particularly negative impact on urban communities, including York Region and the Greater Toronto Area. All ash species except the mountain ash are susceptible to the EAB and will usually die within 2-3 years after the infestation.
“The EAB has greatly affected Ontario’s forest cover. Bringing community members out to an event like this is not only a great way to re-green the area following the infestation, but to learn about the EAB and its impact,” said Rob Keen, CEO Forests Ontario. “We want people to know that when our forests are compromised, so is our own health and that of surrounding ecosystems. The marsh is an amazing place to explore Ontario’s natural biodiversity. Keeping its forests healthy will ensure that it continues to thrive.”
“Michael’s has been a part of the Clarkson Community for over 50 years and this planting is our way of thanking all our supporters here by making it as beautiful as it can be,” said Robyn Dadic, Operations Manager at Michael’s. “The marsh is home to many native tree species as well as a wide range of wildlife, including rabbits, beavers, deer and the occasional fox. We want to make sure they still have a home and that residents can continue to enjoy all the benefits that come with beautiful green spaces like this one.”
Forests Ontario would like to extend our gratitude to Michael’s HBM, Credit Valley Conservation, and all the volunteers who joined us early on a Wednesday morning to keep Mississauga and the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area beautiful.
The health of Ontario’s forests is vital to our individual health. Our forests clean our air, filter our water, act as a buffer against the effects of climate change, and provide shade from harmful solar radiation. The trees planted at Rattray are part of the nearly three million that the organization plants every year to make Ontario greener and healthier. Visit forestsontario.ca to learn more about our planting programs and how you can become a sponsor, donor, or volunteer.
About 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP)
Trees Ontario administers the Ontario government’s 50 Million Tree Program, part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign. The United Nations’ goal is to plant one billion trees worldwide each year. Ontario is committed to help achieve this goal.
The goals of the program are to sequester carbon, enhance and diversify Ontario’s landscape, increase the capacity to withstand climate change, and increase wildlife habitat. The 50 Million Tree Program is designed to significantly reduce the costs to landowners of large-scale tree planting and thereby increase the number of trees planted across the province.
About Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario was created in 2014 as a result of the merging of not-for-profit organizations Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). 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. Forests Ontario and its 85 provincial partners work to protect, renew and manage forest resources through programs, services and advocacy.