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Ten Years and 24 Million Trees

Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program Reaches New Heights

Ten years ago, Forests Ontario and the Ontario government committed to plant 50 million trees across the province by 2025. The 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP), part of a greater, greener vision, was launched under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign, initiated as a response to the growing impacts of climate change. The 50MTP provides private landowners, municipalities, regions and townships with the opportunity to increase forest cover in Ontario by planting trees. Twenty-four million trees covering 13,000 hectares later, the 50MTP has increased forest connectivity, restoring Ontario’s forests and making great strides towards a healthier province.

A great deal has been accomplished this decade. Since 2008, more than 80 different native tree species have been planted under the program. A quarter of those planted were Eastern white pine, Ontario’s provincial tree. Thirty landowners – Green Leaders – have been recognized for their commitment to tree planting and their passion for the environment. Many of these landowners started with a simple vision of a greener landscape. The trees planted, have led to increased wildlife habitat, additional savings through the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) and in one case, a second career in forestry.

Landowners are provided funding assistance to plant trees on their acreage. They are also connected to forestry professionals who manage the planting process – from the initial site plan to follow-up assessments which take place one, two and five years after the planting has been completed. “The 50 Million Tree Program provides financial support, and a mechanism to assist those who believe in the value of planting trees and who recognize the multiple benefits that forests provide to a healthy environment and society,” says forestry professional and Forests Ontario Field Advisor, Tim Gray. “These benefits extend far beyond our lifetime and remain as a legacy for future generations.”

In the last 10 years, the 50 Million Tree Program has helped more than 4,000 landowners realize a new vision for their land. Landowners with idle land are invited to plant trees today to support the environment and the community, and leave a legacy. To find out more about the 50 Million Tree Program and to submit an application, please visit forestsontario.ca/50MTP

“There are several reasons that trees are important. They help fight climate change by cleaning the air, stop soil erosion, and provide shade and protection from the wind,” says Nathalie Des Rosiers, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “The 50 Million Tree Program is making it easy and affordable for landowners to make a positive difference on the landscape.”

For additional questions, contact the Forestry Outreach Coordinator, Suzanne Perry, at 1.877.646.1193 ext. 239 or at sperry@forestsontario.ca.