Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and Landscape Ontario Celebrate Greening Ontario Highways with an Open House



    VINELAND, ON, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Ontario highways will soon look greener
thanks to research conducted at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in
partnership with Landscape Ontario, local nurseries and horticultural
suppliers. Today's Open House introduced plans for a new environmental vision
along Ontario highways.
    High plant mortalities and locally available tree stock have always been
a challenge for highway tree plantings. Working with industry stakeholders and
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Vineland Research and Innovation
Centre is optimizing the planting process for improved local production and
long-term greening success.
    Dr. Hannah Mathers, Senior Research Fellow at Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre and Associate Professor, Ohio State University, is currently
developing appropriate species selection and growing conditions that will
encourage tree survivability in high stress environments. "With the use of
retractable roof greenhouse technology, Ontario can capture a portion of the
multimillion dollar small-tree market, which traditionally we have imported.
This will foster a stronger presence of local production and drastically
reduce the carbon footprint produced by the shipping process," said Dr. Hannah
Mathers.
    Highway greening is an important factor in reducing carbon dioxide - a
by-product of vehicle emissions and a catalyst of climate change. "We are very
pleased to be partnering with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre on this
study. Finding ways to increase tree survival along our highways will greatly
improve air quality and decrease pollution levels by trapping carbon dioxide.
It is particularly difficult to sustain any long-term greening program along
Ontario highways due to extreme climate conditions necessitating frequent salt
use during winters and frequent dry spells throughout summer," said Tony
DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario.
    "This project stands as an excellent example of Vineland's partnership
approach to research and innovation," said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland
Research and Innovation Centre. "Working with our industry partners, Vineland
looks for solutions to horticultural challenges, in this case within the
Ontario nursery sector."
    At Vineland, Dr. Mathers and her team currently have more than eight
species of trees in the retractable roof greenhouses and will have their first
crop planted along Ontario Highways by Spring 2010.

    About Landscape Ontario

    Established in 1973, Landscape Ontario has become an invaluable
association within the Ontario horticulture industry. Comprising over 2,000
members of horticulture professionals, Landscape Ontario both encourages and
supports projects and education initiatives. Through sector groups, Landscape
Ontario facilitates a network of support addressing industry needs for its
members and communities.

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit
organization established as a world-class centre for horticultural science and
innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry,
academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium horticultural
products and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to
the horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits both
locally and internationally. Vineland's research priorities align with
industry needs and its outcomes focus on the growth of the entire horticulture
industry.





For further information:

For further information: Isabel Dopta, Director Stakeholder Relations,
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, (905) 562-0320, Ext. 791,
Isabel.dopta@vinelandresearch.com, www.vinelandresearch.com; Tony DiGiovanni,
Executive Director, Landscape Ontario, (905) 875-1805, Ext. 304,
tonydigiovanni@landscapeontario.com, www.landscapeontario.com

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