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Durham Region Landowners Growing Forests in Honour of Veterans

Highway of Heroes and Forests Ontario Plant Green Monument along Highway 401

More than 60 landowners in Durham Region have signed up to plant trees on their properties, adding to the green tribute along Highway 401 – Canada’s busiest highway. These plantings, done in honour of Canadian veterans, are made possible through a partnership with Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign (HOH) and Forests Ontario.

The HOH/Forests Ontario partnership offers reduced tree planting costs for eligible landowners living near Highway 401 between Windsor and Cornwall. Despite complications brought on by COVID-19 this spring, 560,712 seedlings were planted on 181 properties, creating 332 hectares of new forest in Ontario in total.

“In a time where the world has taken great measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Earth has taken this time to heal itself in many ways; tree planting is one way we can support that healing process,” said Mike Hurley, Executive Director of the HOH Tree Campaign. “We have now planted nearly 750,000 trees, putting us on track to reach our target of planting 2 million trees by 2022.”

Forests Ontario, a non-profit charity, has facilitated the planting of more than 34 million trees across Canada since 2008.

“We commend our planting partners and tree nurseries that accomplished so much this spring, while ensuring the safety of their operations, in spite of COVID-19,” said Rob Keen, Forests Ontario’s CEO. “It really is a testament to the passion and dedication these folks have for ensuring a healthy planet for our future.”

Along with enhancing the world’s largest living tribute, the new forests planted along Highway 401 will provide wind and snow barriers, stabilize soil, absorb groundwater runoff, sequester carbon and provide new habitats for 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 30km of the 401 corridor who are interested in planting trees in the spring of 2021 can visit www.forestsontario.ca or contact:

Nicole Baldwin, Forestry Program Manager, Forests Ontario

(416) 646-1193, ext. 227 or nbaldwin@forestsontario.ca.