CAA SCO Associates Join Forests Ontario to Beautify Bike Trails at Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby

WHITBY, ON, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - On September 21st, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) employees joined Forests Ontario at Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby for a community tree plant led by our partners at Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). Nearly 100 trees, including some Carolinian species, were planted along a stretch of the Waterfront Trail running through Lynde Shores.

The newly established  sections of the Waterfront Trail running through Lynde Shores provides a crucial link in a network that allows cyclists to travel throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Durham Region almost entirely off main roads, providing for a safer and more scenic ride.

"Thanks to funding from the Province as part of Ontario's Promotion, Celebration and Legacy Strategy for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games, the National Trails Coalition Trail Grant program and Shell Canada, the network is now complete," says Perry Sisson, Director of Engineering and Operations for CLOCA. "This was one of the last remaining on-road gaps in the GTA route. Now we can offer a safe alternative to the previous alignment and a fully accessible trail for visitors of all abilities. Lynde Shores Conservation offers 956 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands along the Lake Ontario Shoreline, providing visitors with lots of songbird, waterfowl and raptor viewing opportunities in every season. The Lynde Shores Conservation Area sees more than 50,000 visitors a year and they have told us how much they like being connected to the rest of the province," he adds. 

For CAA SCO, the planting was the perfect way to combine the organization's tree planting efforts -- which has supported the planting of more than 40,000 trees since 2009 -- as well as their cycling programs and advocacy. CAA's Bike Assist provides members which 24/7 roadside assistance for cyclists.

"Lynde Shores Conservation Area was chosen because we wanted to celebrate the newly created portion of the Waterfront Trail that now safely connects Ajax and Whitby for the many cyclists who use this route.  Hopefully the trees we planted will provide beauty and shade for trail users but also help to create a welcoming habitat for wildlife." says Deborah Vahabi, CAA Road Trips Supervisor. "We had great feedback from cyclists using the trail as we were planting!"

CAA SCO has been an incredible partner to Forests Ontario, providing support to multiple community tree plantings every year while also encouraging their employees to give their time and effort. Every year, the Community Planting Weekend launches the planting season by organizing free tree planting events in public spaces across Ontario and inviting volunteers to join us to plant in their community.  In 2015, CAA SCO supported plantings in six locations as part of the Community Planting Weekend.  Nearly 500 volunteers, including 100 CAA members, joined us to plant 2,800 trees across these communities.

"What Forests Ontario loves about having CAA SCO as partner is that they get directly involved in the initiatives they support," said Rob Keen, Forests Ontario CEO. "When CAA SCO supports a planting event, we know that their associates and families are going to be present, getting their hands in the dirt. Forests Ontario is pleased that this year they've not only joined us again but also supported getting moving and active by helping to beautify the Waterfront Trail."

Forests Ontario would like to once again extend our thanks to CAA SCO and to our partners at CLOCA.

About Forests Ontario

Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Our mission is to foster a greener and healthier future for Ontario through large-scale forest restoration and management projects across the province. In addition, Forests Ontario delivers a wide range of educational and awareness initiatives to increase the public's appreciation and understanding of the social, economic, and ecological importance of forests. To learn more about our programs, visit www.forestsontario.ca.

SOURCE Forests Ontario

Image with caption: "CAA SCO associates teamed with Forests Ontario to plant trees at Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby. (CNW Group/Forests Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150924_C6546_PHOTO_EN_505939.jpg

For further information: For information and to schedule interviews, please contact: Shelley McKay, Director of Communications and Development, Forests Ontario, O: 416.646.1193 x232, C: 416.619.0783, E: smckay@forestsontario.ca

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