Forests Ontario

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Highway of Heroes ‘Green Monument’ to Expand

Posted: January 20, 2020

A green tribute to Canada’s veterans and fallen comrades is set to expand this spring along Canada’s busiest highway, thanks to new support for tree planting.

Property owners can now apply for a funding subsidy that provides financial assistance to help plant trees near Highway 401, from Windsor to Cornwall, by virtue of a powerful partnership between the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, Forests Ontario and their 50 Million Tree Program. The combined subsidy will help support site preparation, tree seedlings, planting and survival assessments. Anyone with space to plant a minimum of 500 trees within about 30 kilometers of Highway 401 may apply.

The Private Landowner Partnership Program expands the Highway of Heroes effort to private land and will enlist planting partners including Conservation Authorities, stewardship groups, municipalities and forestry consultants that provide tree planting along the 401.

“What better way to commemorate those who served our country than by planting a living green-tribute,” said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Our network of nursery and forestry professionals will plant exclusively native seedlings, truly commemorating our Canadian soldiers and ensuring this green monument thrives for generations to come.”

“We’re proud to announce details of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign’s Private Landowner Partnership Program expansion with our partners at Forests Ontario,” said Mark Cullen, Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign Chair & Co-Founder. “Through this campaign, you could have a piece of the world’s largest living tribute while doing your part to protect our environment, beautify our communities and honour our Canadian Heroes. This will also help us reach our target of planting over 1.8 million seedlings by 2022.”

Forests Ontario has facilitated the planting of more than 33 million trees across Canada since 2008. The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign has seen over 130,000 trees planted between Trenton and Toronto, mainly on public land, thanks to more than 3,000 individual donors, corporate sponsors and assistance from Veterans Affairs Canada.

Along with enhancing the world’s largest living tribute, the new forests will provide wind and snow barriers, stabilize soil and maintain groundwater. Tree planting provides corridors and habitat f0r wildlife. Planting forests, to sequester carbon, is one of the most effective methods to cool landscapes and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Property owners living within the Highway of Heroes boundary, who wish to plant trees, can contact Nicole Baldwin, Restoration Programs Coordinator at Forests Ontario, at (416) 646-1193, ext. 227 or nbaldwin@forestsontario.ca.