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Trees for the Bees

Karin Tomosky recognized as a Forests Ontario Green Leader for her commitment to building pollinator habitat

In 2011, Karin Tomosky returned to the Milton-area property where she grew up. The land has a rich history; it was granted heritage status after Karin’s mother found arrowheads dating back to when the Attawandarons, a First Nations community, lived in the area.

Karin’s goals were twofold: preserve the land and help the environment. She began taking beekeeping courses at the University of Guelph. Before long, Karin was keeping bees and selling honey to family and friends.

“I knew adding trees to the land would be beneficial for my bees,” explains Karin. “Trees provide pollen and nectar for pollinators. They’re also a home for all kinds of birds and animals. People don’t realize how important trees are.”

In 2013, Karin made the decision to join Ontario ’s 50 Million Tree Program. She collaborated with Conservation Halton to develop a site plan, prepare her property, and choose the species that would best support her bees. Conservation Halton, greatly impressed with Karin’s dedication to environmental stewardship, nominated her as a Green Leader.

“You can see the passion that Karin has for the bees and the property itself,” says Meghan Taylor, Forest Technician at Conservation Halton (pictured with Karin). “Her land has such a rich history, and she’s so knowledgeable about all of it.”

While Karin’s goal was to plant trees for her bees, having a windbreak and increasing forest cover were also important to her. She selected a mix of species, such as Black Cherry, Tamarack and Eastern White Cedar, to help accomplish her diverse objectives.

“Landowners like Karin are leaders in promoting the values of conservation and stewardship,” says Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry.

“Her tree planting efforts are making a positive impact in our province – helping to combat climate change, creating pollinator habitat, and increasing forest cover.”

Karin continues to cultivate her beekeeping operation, and is excited to see her trees continue to grow and thrive. She has planted an impressive 15,000 trees thus far, and she plans to keep going.

“It is vital for landowners like Karin to participate in Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program,” comments Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “It takes trees and forests to clean our air and water, contribute to wildlife habitat, and ensure a healthy environment for future generations. Karin’s dedication to her land will continue to benefit all Ontarians.”

To learn more about the 50 Million Tree Program and other tree planting programs, as well as local tree planting workshops, visit: forestsontario.ca/50MTP.

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About 50 Million Tree Program
Forests Ontario administers the government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign. The United Nations’ goal is to plant one billion trees worldwide each year. Ontario is committed to planting 50 million trees by 2025.

The 50 Million Tree Program is designed to signi­ficantly reduce the costs to landowners of large-scale tree planting and thereby increase the number of trees planted across the province.

About Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

For more information, photos or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jeannette Holder

Communications Manager

Forests Ontario
144 Front Street West, Suite 700
Toronto, ON, M5J 2L7

e: jholder@forestsontario.ca

p: 416-646-1193 ext. 257