Forest for Life Named Finalist for 2012 Great Grants Award

Ontario Trillium Foundation recognizes project's outstanding impact 

TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ -

NEWS

The Ontario Trillium Foundation today announced that Forest for Life is a finalist for the prestigious 2012 Great Grants Awards. The awards recognize Ontario organizations that have demonstrated exceptional results, innovation and a lasting impact on the communities they serve.

Forest for Life has been selected as a finalist in the environment category. A total of eight 2012 Great Grants Awards recipients will be recognized in the presence of Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at a ceremony in Toronto on March 23.

FINALIST PROFILE

Forest for Life c/o Woodstock & District Developmental Services
Harvesting young minds and forests

          Planting non-native trees was a common practice in Oxford, Elgin and Middlesex counties since getting native tree stock had become increasingly difficult and expensive. In 2006, the local stewardship committees partnered with Woodstock and District Developmental Services to find an alternative. Together they created three community-lead nurseries and developed an innovative, cost-effective system of direct seed harvesting and tree planting to fill the lack of native stock. Individuals with physical and developmental disabilities joined this collaborative community initiative and worked jointly with the local greenhouses and nurseries. As the sustainable program grew, thousands of local students came to participate and appreciate the importance of taking care of our forests. Private individuals have now donated land for additional nurseries and a demonstration site opened at the Great Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock. Thanks to the leadership of these innovative partners, native trees will continue to take root in Oxford, Elgin and Middlesex and grace their forests.
           
          Forest for Life was awarded a Community grant of $108,000 over three years in 2006.

QUOTES

"We are very proud of Forest for Life and are excited that, with this nomination, its work in the community will now be acknowledged across Ontario. The efforts of these partners go to the heart of the Foundation's own work: to support good ideas and help foster community connections that improve people's quality of life."

Bettianne Hedges, Chair of Thames Valley Grant Review
Team, OTF

"In partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and its Forests for Life initiative, Woodstock & District Developmental Services has been able to provide increased opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to be participating, contributing and environmentally conscious members of their community."

Deb Roloson, Community Involvement, Woodstock &
District Developmental Services 

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