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Mattawa’s ‘Green Side Up’ receives Trees Ontario Grant for 2009

Spring, 2009 – Northern Ontario’s longest running municipal volunteer tree planting project, spearheaded since 1984 by Wayne Reid of Mattawa, has been given a 10,000 tree grant from Trees Ontario to aid in replanting after the wind storm of 2006. During that storm the town itself suffered damage that was never previously experienced by residents. Since that time Trees Ontario has been front and centre in offering grants to purchase trees from Webbs Nursery in Bonfield, totalling 30,000 trees which includes the 2009 allocation.

Green Side Up will also hit two milestones this year and quite significant ones at that. In May of 2009 the project will be 25 years old and will plant its 100,000th tree in Mattawa, hopefully along the Mattawa River. In 1984 the project began by ‘recycling’ and replanting trees that were either rejected or discarded by tree planting operations in the area because they didn’t meet certain size specifications. Rather than see them die, they were collected and brought to town and planted on lawns, in gardens and along rivers. For many years the project and it’s ‘Army of One’ would collect these discarded trees totalling 700-800 per year or more, until the mid-’90’s when more trees became available through sponsorships from Nipissing Forestry Consultants in Callander and private citizens in the area.

Since the storm of 2006 the project has planted upwards of 80,000 trees in Mattawa and Green Side Up is putting its best foot forward every year to replace what was taken away in one fatal sweep. Today one can look around and see trees throughout the area that have been planted through this project.

Trees are planted by kids, parents, landowners and seniors. The benefits of the trees extend beyond Mattawa to the surrounding townships and Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park and the Canadian Ecology Centre. All these areas have seen extensive damage from the storm and collectively have lost millions of trees.

You can take part in a tree planting day in Mattawa with Green Side Up and help the project in its quest to, in a big way, help curb global warming and improve air and water quality along with a host of other benefits, by planting a tree. The planting usually takes place sometime near the end of May. Watch the Mattawa Recorder for details or call Wayne Reid at 744-0008.