Forests Ontario

News & Events

Growth of a Green Tribute

Posted: April 16, 2020

Highway of Heroes expands partnership with Forests Ontario along full length of Highway 401

By MJ Kettleborough

A green tribute to Canada’s veterans and fallen comrades is set to expand along North America’s busiest highway this spring, thanks to a partnership between the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign (HOH) and Forests Ontario.

Property owners within 30 kilometres of Highway 401, from Windsor to Cornwall, were able to apply for the program if they had room for a minimum of 500 trees. They will receive site preparation, tree seedlings, planting, and survival assessments at significantly reduced costs.

The partnership has expanded HOH’s efforts to include private land, and has enlisted planting partners including Conservation Authorities, stewardship groups, municipalities and forestry consultants that provide tree planting within the given corridor. Forests Ontario anticipates more than 770,000 trees will be planted via this initiative in the coming months.

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

Mark Cullen, HOH’s Chair and Co-Founder, noted, “We’re very proud of this private landowner partnership program expansion. Through this campaign, you can have a piece of the world’s largest living tribute while also doing your part to protect our environment, beautify our communities and honour Canadian heroes. The trees planted with Forests Ontario will also help HOH reach its goal of planting 2 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 150,000 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 for wildlife. Planting forests to sequester carbon is one of the most effective methods to cool landscapes and mitigate the effects of climate change.

For information on this program, contact Nicole Baldwin, Restoration Programs Coordinator at Forests Ontario, at 416.646.1193, ext. 227 or nbaldwin@forestsontario.ca.