Forests Ontario

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Trees Ontario and Green Streets Funding Help City of Ottawa TREE program blossom to 50,000

Oct 18, 2008 – Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s Trees, Reforestation, and Environmental Enhancement (TREE) program has reached the halfway mark in its efforts to plant 100,000 trees in Ottawa by 2010. The TREE program, launched in spring 2007, provides grants to schools and other not-for-profit organizations for tree planting projects, works with community groups to find appropriate locations for trees in city parks and along streets, and provides trees to residents to plant on their own property through tree distributions.

“I am delighted we have already planted 50,000 trees after only 18 months,” said Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien. “I strongly encourage municipalities across Canada to follow in our footsteps and engage in similar tree planting initiatives. It is wonderful to see residents and community groups working together to beautify their neighbourhoods.”

The driving force behind the TREE program is to increase the City’s forest cover which helps combat climate change.

“We are very pleased to announce that we are halfway to our goal of planting 100,000 trees across the City” said Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee. “The TREE program is proving to be a great success and we are looking forward to planting 50,000 more trees in the coming years to make Ottawa a greener City.”

The City and the TREE program were also celebrating a grant for $10,065 from Tree Canada, sponsored by Trees Ontario, which named Ottawa a Green Streets Canada Community. In partnership with local community groups, funding from the Green Streets Canada program has generously supported five community tree distributions across the City. Volunteers from local community groups have assisted in distributing over 1,400 trees in their communities this past year.

“We are very happy to continue planting and protecting urban forests in the City of Ottawa through the Green Streets Canada program with the generous help of Trees Ontario,” said Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. “Tree Canada has always had a special relationship with Ottawa — we are pleased that Ottawa has shown its dedication to the environment with their innovative forest programs. All our efforts together will make Ottawa an even greener and healthier place to live.”

Green Streets Canada is the flagship program of Tree Canada and is the country’s only national urban forest innovation initiative. It rewards municipalities that have gone beyond the call of duty and have recognized the importance of ensuring the survival of trees in their urban communities.

“We are very pleased to support the City of Ottawa in its Trees, Reforestations, and Environmental Enhancement program,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO of Trees Ontario. “This is a vital part of the work we are doing with tree planting partners across Ontario — to rebuild tree planting capacity and replace aging forests. This past spring Trees Ontario and its partners planted close to 3 million trees across Ontario. With the cooperation of municipalities like the City of Ottawa, the organization is now working hard to increase that number significantly over the next several years.”

Tomorrow takes root today. Plant a tree. For more information about the TREE program and how you can get involved, visit ottawa.ca/TREE or call 3-1-1.