Green Leader Glenn Coon puts community and environment first
Port Rowan, Ont., January 14, 2015 – Glenn Coon knows a thing or two about caring. In 1990, he and his wife Pam, both pharmacists, moved to Port Rowan and purchased the local Pharmasave. Over the past 25 years, they have been caring for the health and well-being of local residents. Throughout their years in Port Rowan, the couple has raised two children, Alex and Tori, ran successful businesses and been active and engaged community members. It’s no surprise then that, for Glenn, wanting to care for the environment was hard-wired.
After eyeing one particular property for several years, Glenn jumped at the chance to make it his own when it finally came on the market three years ago. Though much of the property’s 95 acres contained unused farmland and old field, Glenn knew the property had huge potential.
Glenn’s vision was simple enough: restore the land so that in the future, he and his family could build a home. He also envisioned that one day, his daughter Tori, a dedicated horse rider, could have her own horse farm on the space. He imagined carving out a network of trails for mountain-biking with his wife and friends.
While he knew he could undertake some of the restoration work himself, with his limited experience in conservation, Glenn acknowledged that he would need help. When he first went looking for assistance, he admits, “I wasn’t aware of the full scope of what was available to me as a landowner.”
The realization came when Glenn stopped by his local Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) office to inquire about programs and subsidies for his property. After connecting with Paul Gagnon at the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, an ambitious project was drafted to undertake restoration. The project, carried out in spring of 2014, saw the creation of new wetlands, the restoration of the property’s stream system, the protection of a corn crop area, and a grand afforestation effort through the 50 Million Tree Program.
“Without the 50 Million Tree Program, it’s likely that financial reasons would have impeded my ability to plant substantially on the property,” said Glenn. “The 50 Million Tree Program provided the financial resources to undertake the project and most importantly, connected me with the people who had the expertise to carry out the project.”
In total, some 9065 seedlings, comprising 13 different varieties, were planted on the property. The plant featured community participation from the region’s local Boy Scouts. Glenn cites the project as a perfect example of collaboration and humbly credits the many parties involved in bringing the project to fruition.
“Glenn’s property is like a showcase project for us,” says Paul Gagnon. “He had a clear vision and set of objectives and he was a joy to work with at every stage. If everyone thought and did like Glenn, we would already have accomplished our goal of planting 50 million trees.”
For Ron Thayer, Field Advisor for Trees Ontario, nominating Glenn as a Green Leader came down to Glenn’s community dedication, vision and willingness to go forward with the project. The title of Green Leader is given to private landowners who’ve participated in the government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program and made a considerable contribution toward enhancing the province’s forest cover.
“Glenn is a perfect example of a Green Leader”, says Ron. “He cares about his community
he cares about education, water quality, trees, people. He has always worked in a cooperative manner and it’s great to recognize him for his accomplishments.”
“Glenn’s efforts planting under the 50 Million Tree Program are outstanding and he is deserving of the title of ‘Green Leader,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “His efforts showcase what one individual is capable of doing and the tremendous resources available to private landowners throughout the province.”
“Each landowner who undertakes a restoration project is contributing to creating a healthy, sustainable environment,” said Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “This individual’s efforts will help to fight climate change and protect the environment, and he should certainly be commended.”
Although building a home on the property remains a few years off, Glenn is thrilled with the improvements and is happy that his choices have helped support a vibrant community and a healthy environment. “It’s hard to put into words what this community means to me,” says Glenn. “We are blessed to be part of the community. It’s been tremendous to be able to give back and to, in some way, contribute to the health and wellness of the community that has always supported us.”
For more information about the 50 Million Tree Program and other tree planting programs, as well as local tree planting workshops, visit: http://www.forestsontario.ca/planting/programs/50-million-tree-program/
About 50 Million Tree Program
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 southern 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.
For more information, photos or to arrange an interview please contact:
Director of Communications & Development
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