Shanty Bay Couple Announced as Trees Ontario's Latest Green Leaders
TORONTO, June 25, 2013 /CNW/ - John Dunsmore is dedicated to his land.
Wielding pruning shears he surveys his 140-acre property looking for
grass patches that could threaten his tree seedlings' survival. He
snips at stray strands as to prevent them from pushing down and
suffocating the young trees.
With nearly 60,000 new trees on the Shanty Bay farm he shares with his
wife Rosemary, John is dedicated to the seedlings' survival and growth.
Three years ago, the Dunsmores enlisted the help of Trees Ontario and
Lands & Forests Consulting to assist with the re-greening of their
property, located just east of Barrie, Ont. Since then, they've planted
approximately 20,000 trees per year, with next year planned as the last
and final planting. Today, the couple has been recognized as Trees
Ontario Green Leaders for their enduring stewardship of the Shanty Bay
Retired cattle farmers with 50 years of experience under their belt
(including multiple awards such as the 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award) and commitment to the local community, the couple says planting trees
was the next logical step as they both share a love of the outdoors.
The property has been farmed by Rosemary's family for 150 years.
Like his father and grandfather before him, John takes great pride in
farm life. He has planted approximately 2,500 seedlings by hand (to
fill gaps) and undertakes the grass cutting between the seedling rows
using an industrial-sized lawnmower that is stored in the couple's
100-year-old barn; a task that takes three days to complete. He has
also been a volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada for more
than 30 years.
Rosemary pitches in by helping transport trees from the barn for the
Land & Forests crew while they are working on the property during
This commitment is what inspired Eleanor Reed, R.P.F., operations
manager for Lands & Forests Consulting, to nominate the Dunsmores as
Trees Ontario's latest Green Leaders.
"It's really exciting to work with people like John and Rosemary. It's
such a large parcel of land that we're working with; here we can really
make a difference," says Reed, who partners with Trees Ontario, the
administrator of the government of Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP). "This couple is very hands-on, dedicated, knowledgeable and
interested, which is really rewarding making it feel like a true
The Dunsmores hope to one day pass the property to their daughter, who
is a forester currently working in Alberta. However, the couple make it
clear that this dream wouldn't have been achieved without the 50MTP
funding. "It wouldn't have been possible without the 50 Million Tree Program planting incentives because the cost would have been out of reach for
us," explains John.
"In addition to their commendable participation in the 50 Million Tree Program, the Dunsmores are a remarkable example of landowners who have gone the
extra mile in their restoration efforts," noted Rob Keen, CEO of Trees
Ontario. "The sheer size and scope of their land as well as the
hands-on maintenance they've undertaken is an inspiration to all
landowners. The Dunsmore's forest will continue to provide benefits
including creating wildlife habitat, cleaning waterways, filtering air
pollution and mitigating climate change."
The unique property, which borders the Lake Simcoe and Nottawasaga
Valley watersheds, includes a variety of tree species, mainly red and
white pine, white spruce, Norway spruce, white cedar, larch, Tamarack,
red oak and black cherry. John has also collected seed from existing
white cedar and black walnut trees, which he also grew from seed and
hopes to transplant in the future.
According to Reed, tree survival on this site has been impressive.
"What's nice is that when I walk away I don't have to worry because I
know the Dunsmores are active landowners and that they will care for
the trees until they develop into a healthy forest."
"The Dunsmores are well deserving of the Green Leader award in
recognition of their dedication to this legacy farmland," says David
Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources. "Planting trees under the 50
Million Tree Program is a great option for landowners who want to leave
a legacy for future generations. The naturalization of the property
will contribute to the area's biodiversity, encourage species'
resiliency to climate change, and add to the economic and social fabric
of the entire region."
With the goal of planting 50 million trees by 2025, the 50MTP is
administered by Trees Ontario, which works with local tree planting
agencies, including regional conservation authorities and local
stewardship councils, to coordinate funding and planting.
For more information about the 50 Million Tree Program and other tree planting programs, as well as local tree planting
workshops, visit: www.treesontario.ca/program
About 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP)
Trees Ontario is a partner in the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources'
50 Million Tree Program, part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.The United Nations'
goal is to plant one billion trees worldwide each year. Ontario is
committed to plant 50 million trees by 2025.
The goals of the program are to sequester carbon, enhance and diversify
southern Ontario's landscape, increase the capacity to withstand
climate change, and increase wildlife habitat. The 50 Million Tree Program is designed to significantly reduce the costs to landowners of
large-scale tree planting and thereby increase the number of trees
planted across the province.
About Trees Ontario
Trees Ontario is a not-for-profit organization committed to the
re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and
in urban areas. Since 2004, Trees Ontario and its 65 provincial
partners have planted more than 13 million trees across the province.
Image with caption: "John and Rosemary Dunsmore, retired Barrie cattle farmers, are Trees Ontario's latest Green Leaders. The couple has planted nearly 60,000 new trees on their 140-acre property through the government of Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program. (CNW Group/Trees Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130625_C2254_PHOTO_EN_28331.jpg
SOURCE: Trees Ontario
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