A Call to Action for Ontario's Urban Forests

TORONTO, June 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) has issued 'Ontario's Urban Forests: A Call to Action'. Supported by stakeholders across the province, the Call to Action identifies priority actions urgently needed to help protect and sustain Ontario's urban forests.

Our urban areas are losing trees at a time when they are more important than ever. Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest, is killing millions of ash trees in backyards, along streets and in parks across the province.  Climate change is resulting in more extreme weather events - including storms, heat waves and droughts - that can devastate urban trees. Combined with increasingly difficult growing conditions, such as reduced soil volumes that come with urban densification, these stresses are wreaking havoc on our urban forests.

In the face of these struggles, we continue to depend on our urban trees to help communities mitigate and adapt to climate change by sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, moderating temperatures and reducing flooding. Ontario's urban forests are the backbone of our province's urban green infrastructure and fundamental to healthy, sustainable communities, neighborhoods and people.

Coordination and collaboration is imperative. This Call to Action urges the province to take a leadership role in working with GIO members to develop a province-wide urban forest strategy.  All levels of government, non-profit organizations, community groups and businesses must play a role in protecting and growing Ontario's urban forests.

To read the full Call to Action visit the GIO website: http://www.greeninfrastructureontario.org/ontarios-urban-forests-call-action

The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) is a collaborative alliance of not-for-profits organizations, community groups, businesses and local governments working to sustain green infrastructure across Ontario. Our mission is to bring organizations together to share information and collaborate for improved green infrastructure policies and programs across the province. For more information visit www.greeninfrastructureontario.org

SOURCE Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition

For further information: Media contacts: Janet McKay, Executive Director, LEAF, Chair, Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, 416-413-9244 x17, Cell 647-883-5777, janet@yourleaf.org; Dr. Andy Kenney, Past Professor, University of Toronto: Board Member, Tree Canada, 613-267-3653, a.kenney@utoronto.ca; Michelle Sawka, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, 416-661-6600 x5337, Cell 647-287-6540, msawka@greeninfrastructureontario.org

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Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition

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