Do you have a love of trees and a deep commitment to making Ontario a cleaner, greener place to live? If so, consider the financial incentives available to landowners looking to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren by planting trees.
What’s more, your commitment as a land steward may make you eligible for the title of Green Leader, as recognized by Forests Ontario and its partners.
What is a Green Leader?
The Green Leader program acknowledges individuals who have planted trees under the government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP) and have made a dedicated and lasting commitment to the re-greening of the province. Past leaders included Joe Hickson of Essex County, whose property was previously farmed to support him and his family through the Great Depression. Upon retiring from a long farming career, Joe decided to do what any steward of the land would do – restore it to its natural state. Joe and his wife, Joyce, worked with Trees Ontario’s local partner, Essex Region Conservation Authority, to plant 23,450 trees on their 88.5 acre property within the Municipality of Leamington.
As a result of the planting program, the Hickson family has seen many benefits, including the return of diverse wildlife such as foxes and wild turkeys, increased butterfly populations, prairie grasses and wildflowers. Their efforts have also contributed to the restoration and delisting of the Muddy Creek watershed from being an area of concern.
Forests Ontario planted nearly three million trees in 2013, with the ultimate goal of supporting the planting of 10 million trees per year. To help put Ontario on the path to achieving this goal, Forests Ontario is seeking landowners to participate in its programs.