Farmers and Property Owners Planning Ambitious 2020 Tree Plantings in Cataraqui Watershed this Spring
Posted: February 6, 2020
Landowners in the Cataraqui Watershed have big plans to plant trees this spring under Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP). Forests Ontario has taken orders for 139,000 trees to go in the ground in 2020, according to numbers released this week by the tree planting and forest advocacy organization.
The enthusiasm for tree planting comes after Forests Ontario changed the program’s criteria to make tree planting easier.
“The 50 Million Tree Program is better and more accessible than ever,” said Rob Keen, Registered Professional Forester and CEO of non-profit charity, Forests Ontario. “The new, expanded criteria open the program to more land and property owners, meaning more trees in the ground. It’s a win-win for landowners, who save on tree planting costs, and for the environment.”
Since 2008, the tree-planting program has helped to plant over 1.8 million trees in the Cataraqui watershed, in partnership with the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Overall, Forests Ontario has facilitated the planting of more than 29 million trees through the 50 MTP.
Under the 50 MTP’s new criteria, anyone with room to plant at least 500 trees can apply. The revised rules open opportunities for urban and suburban tree planting, as well as windbreaks and shelterbelts on farms.
Forests Ontario is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the delivery of high-quality, large-scale tree planting programs. Forests Ontario has worked with more than 80 partners, such as conservation authorities and stewardship groups. The organization is committed to developing complex planting infrastructures that lead to healthy forests.
More than 5,000 landowners have planted trees under the 50 MTP, yielding over 16,000 hectares of new forest that sequester more than 22,000 tonnes of carbon annually. The 50 MTP supports about 300 full-time, seasonal forest jobs.
Increasing forest cover helps to ensure healthy natural landscapes. Trees reduce the risk of severe flooding by soaking up excess water.
Last year, the Government of Canada committed up to $15 million over four years to support the program. Funding also comes from corporate sponsors and donors.
To apply, please visit www.forestsontario.ca