Looking for more "trunk space": nearly two-thirds of Quebecers say they want
more trees on their city's main streets

MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The people have spoken; Quebecers are ready to say goodbye to the concrete jungle and hello to the urban forest. A recent poll commissioned by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) found that nearly two-thirds of Quebecers say they want more trees on their city's main streets. TD FEF is encouraging municipalities and First Nations communities in Quebec to apply for funding to support their tree planting initiatives through the TD Green Streets program, in co-operation with Tree Canada.

Through the TD Green Streets program, 20 communities across Canada will be awarded a grant of up to $15,000 for tree planting, inventory, maintenance and educational activities at the end of April. Applications for funding are being accepted until April 6, 2010 and are available online at www.treecanada.ca.

"From removing carbon dioxide to releasing oxygen, trees are fundamental to sustaining our communities. An increase in trees is a great addition to any community and we want to help make that a reality," says Annick Laberge, spokesperson of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in Quebec. "Our partnership with Tree Canada falls directly in line with our objective to support grassroots environment and wildlife initiatives across the country. As this year marks our 20th anniversary, we'd like to celebrate by helping 20 municipalities bring their plans for greener main streets to life."

TD Green Streets' impact on Canadian communities

Since 1994, more than 370 Canadian municipalities have benefited from Green Streets funding to plant and maintain trees from coast-to-coast. In 2008, Quebec City received funding from the program, which it used to organize a tree distribution day. "Thanks to the Green Streets program, we distributed 3,200 Accolade elm trees to residents, as part of Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebration. These trees will help expand our urban forest and introduce a variety of elm that is resistant to Dutch elm disease," said Jacques Grantham, Director of Quebec City's environment department.

In 2007, the city of Rouyn-Noranda obtained a valuable donation of $10,000 from the program to carry out urban forest management projects. "Without this generous contribution, most of our projects would not have been completed. We were also able to generate considerable public interest in the projects," said Sébastien Giguère, Forestry Unit, City of Rouyn-Noranda.

TD Green Streets: How it works

The TD Green Streets program is open to Canadian municipalities and First Nations communities. Based on the community size and need, grants of up to $15,000 are given with a maximum of 50 per cent of the grant allocated towards the cost of tree planting. The remainder can be used for inventory, maintenance and educational activities.

How municipalities are chosen

All submissions are reviewed by regional Tree Canada Advisors, Board Members, urban forest practitioners and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation representatives based on innovation, community involvement and technical expertise. Communities who have already received Green Streets funding are also eligible to apply under this year's program.

For more information or to apply for funding from TD Green Streets visit www.treecanada.ca.

About the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Poll:

From March 8 to March 10, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion, a practice of Vision Critical, polled 1,010 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. 272 respondents were from Quebec.

About Tree Canada:

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. A winner of the Canadian Environmental Award (2007), Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. To date, more than 76 million trees have been planted, more than 450 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has organized 8 national urban forest conferences. More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.

About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:

Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $53 million in funding to over 19,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2009, TD FEF provided more than $4.1 million in support of 899 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Financial Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit www.tdfef.com.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of TD Bank's presence in Quebec. Ever since the first branch of the Bank of Toronto opened in Quebec in 1860, TD has developed a rich tradition of quality client service and community involvement. Today, TD's Quebec presence includes over 4,000 employees and 125 offices and points of service, as well as considerable investments in community programs.

SOURCE TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview: Fiona Hirst, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, (514) 385-2222 ext. 2474, fiona.hirst@td.com; Mathieu Beaudoin, Morin Public Relations, (514) 289-8688 ext. 225, mathieu@morinrp.com; Melissa Nisbett, Tree Canada, (613) 567-5545 ext. 224, mnisbett@treecanada.ca

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