Forests Ontario

News & Events

Tree Bee Takes on York Region

NEWMARKET, ON, February 6th, 2015 – Students gathered at Newmarket High School to take part in the inaugural York Region Tree Bee, a competition in which they worked in teams to identify trees native to and prominent across Ontario and answer a series of questions on the workings of our forests.

The goal of Tree Bee is to engage students in understanding and appreciating the importance of Ontario’s forests. Students prepare for the competition throughout the school year using interactive learning resources developed by Forests Ontario. Resources guide students in identifying trees across Ontario through key features such as leaves, bark, seeds, and buds and also in understanding the important benefits our forests provide to surrounding communities.

As one of the oldest programs of the Ontario Forestry Association, which merged with Trees Ontario in 2014 to become Forests Ontario, Tree Bee has supported and encouraged hundreds of students in grades 4-6 every year to learn more about the beauty, diversity, and importance of Ontario’s forests. The program first began in 1952, bringing together over 100 students each year in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Encouraging students to appreciate our forests from a young age is the key to fostering the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Rob Keen, Forests Ontario CEO. “It’s always inspiring to see students learning more about our forests and bringing such enthusiasm to this program, so we’re thrilled that these teachers and students in York Region have worked with us to expand Tree Bee.”

“I participated in this program as a student in 1960,” added Neil Haist, former Forests Ontario Board Member. “Needless to say, it’s had a huge impact on me and started a lifelong passion for our forests and natural environment. It’s incredible that Tree Bee is not only still going but becoming bigger and better and continuing to inspire students to develop a love of our forests and natural environment.”

Forests Ontario would like to thank the Cambridge-North Dumfries Foundation for sponsoring this event. We also wish to thank the teachers who made the effort to bring forestry into their classrooms and Newmarket High School for hosting the competition. Finally, and most importantly, we wish to thank all the students who demonstrated such enthusiasm and made our first York Region Tree Bee a truly memorable experience.

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). Trees Ontario is the forest restoration arm of 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. Visit or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Shelley McKay

Director of Communications & Development

Forests Ontario