Trees Ontario and 65+ Planting Partners Celebrate Ontario's Largest Planting Season

Tree planting efforts + financial support + technical expertise is the formula for success in achieving 2012 goal of planting three million trees in southern Ontario

TORONTO, July 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Trees Ontario and its partners are three million trees closer to the Environmental Commissioner, Gordon Miller's goal of planting a billion trees in southern Ontario to achieve the minimum 30 per cent forest cover needed for a healthy ecosystem and sustainable economy.

Trees Ontario, the largest not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America, is leading efforts to strengthen Ontario's tree planting infrastructure by enhancing the capacity of its tree planting partners through financial support and professional development expertise, delivering landowner incentives through cost offsetting and educating the public through awareness campaigns and community workshops.

This spring was yet another successful tree planting season as landowners, planting partners, the Ontario government, community groups and corporate partners such as CAA, and Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, supported planting projects that resulted in the planting of more than three million new trees.

"Trees and green spaces have been linked to a significant decline in asthma, heart disease, diabetes, stress and certain childhood illnesses, as well as improved rehabilitation and faster hospital recovery rates," said Rob Keen, CEO, Trees Ontario. "That is why Trees Ontario is working so diligently to increase the entire forest restoration cycle: from tree seed forecasting and collection to tree planting, tending, and technical education."

Last week, Trees Ontario and its partners gathered together at the organization's annual Planting Delivery Agency meeting to discuss the spring planting season, and strategize and plan for the fall, when more trees will be planted.

Over the two-day workshop, Trees Ontario and its partners discussed the catalyst to reach the one billion tree mark - the Ontario government's 50 Million Tree Program. Trees Ontario administers this program by working with its partners and landowners who are needed to make this program a success.

"I applaud Trees Ontario and their many partners for rising to the challenge of our 50 Million Tree Program," said Michael Gravelle, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources.  "With over 11 million trees planted across Southern Ontario since we began in 2007, together we are making the future greener for all Ontarians."

"This commitment from the government is a significant step in supporting Ontario's overall targets but we also need financial contributions from individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our forest restoration programs and special projects," added Keen. "This is crucial if we are to be successful in increasing our annual tree planting totals and achieving the billion trees goal," added Keen.

The three million trees planted in 2012 contributed to a total of 16 million trees planted since 2004. Trees Ontario encourages all landowners interested in large-scale tree planting efforts to consider taking part in a subsidy program and provide a home for these trees.

With a billion trees needed, everyone is welcome to help reach this goal.  For more information on how to get involved, visit www.treesontario.ca.

Trees Ontario

Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities.

The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province's tree planting capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils, First Nations, municipal governments and community volunteer groups. www.treesontario.ca.

50 Million Tree Program

In August 2007, the government of Ontario introduced a program to fund the planting of 50 million trees across the province, as part of its commitment to help fight climate change and green the province.

The 50 Million Tree Program is Ontario's commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign. The program is also one of the most ambitious program of its kind in North America and the largest goal of any jurisdiction, anywhere.

The 50 Million Tree Program significantly cuts landowners' costs of large-scale tree planting and boosts the number of trees planted.

SOURCE Trees Ontario

For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shelley McKay
Marketing and Communications Manager
Trees Ontario
416.646.1193
smckay@treesontario.ca

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Trees Ontario

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