Ontarians Eager to Help Find Homes for Tree Seedlings

    Landowners attending tree planting workshops across the province to learn
    about incentives in place to help reach tree planting goals

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Ontarians are enthusiastically stepping up to
help the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources meet its goal to plant 50
million trees by 2020 - the largest single commitment to the United Nations
Billion Tree Program.
    Many Ontario landowners are planning to attend a series of community
workshops in late February and early March to learn about tree planting
techniques, financial incentives like the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program
(MFTIP) that can help reduce property taxes by up to 75%, along with ways to
reduce their environmental footprint and how to participate in the 50 Million
Tree Program.
    "Landowners see the value in the Ontario government's tree planting
incentives and are working with us to green up the province and reduce the
effects of climate change while saving a significant amount of money," said
the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources. "With this
growing interest, we should be well on our way to meeting our 50 Million Tree
Program goal."
    The 50 Million Tree Program, announced in August 2007 by Premier
McGuinty, is the single largest commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree
Campaign, and will plant 50 million new trees in southern Ontario by 2020.
    The free tree planting workshops, hosted by Trees Ontario, the Ontario
Forestry Association, and local planting agency partner, are designed to
inform and gain the commitment of Ontario landowners to participate in the
tree planting subsidy and tax incentive programs available, including the 50
Million Tree Program. Local forestry experts share information on subsidy
programs, good forestry practices and how to plant trees and reduce costs.
    "The winter series of workshops follows the highly successful fall
workshops that saw many landowners from across the province step up and make
planting commitments for the spring of 2009," said Michael Scott, President
and CEO, Trees Ontario. "With these winter workshops, we are attracting more
landowners - those converting their farmland, with vacation properties and
those wishing to create a legacy. Everyone wants to help improve our
    Some of the financial incentives range from $0.10/tree to as high as
$1.25/tree, which can reduce the cost to the landowner to as low as $0.15,
depending on the size of their land and the number of trees planted. In
addition, the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), administered by
the OFA, can provide significant property tax reductions for landowners who
own at least 10 acres or more of forested land. Eligible landowners work with
a plan approver to prepare and follow a forest management plan. Upon
acceptance into the program, the forested portion of the property is
reassessed as managed forest and taxed at a reduced rate the following year
for a period of 10 years.
    Workshop dates and locations are available at www.treesontario.on.ca.

    Did you know?

    -   Seedlings planted by Trees Ontario and its participating landowners
        are usually two to three years old and range from 24 to 36cm in
        height. Depending on tree species it takes 60 to 100 years for trees
        to mature and they will range in height from 18 metres (red pine) to
        30 meters (white pine).
    -   In one year, a single tree can absorb as much carbon as is produced
        by a car driven 41,800 kilometres - that's a daily commute from
        Markham to downtown Toronto; from Mississauga to Hamilton; from
        Napanee to Kingston; and from Woodstock to London.

    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. Trees Ontario is also
partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to help deliver the Ontario
government's commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2020.
    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,
municipal governments and community volunteer groups.
    Last spring Trees Ontario, with its partners, planted over 2.4 million
trees. Its goal is to increase tree planting to 10 million trees every year by
2015. Visit the Trees Ontario website at www.treesontario.on.ca.

    Ontario Forestry Association

    The Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) is a non-profit, registered
charity. It is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of all aspects
of Ontario's forests, and to develop commitment to stewardship of forest
ecosystems. The OFA has been involved in public education around forestry and
environmental issues since the 1940s. Over the years they have been involved
in major initiatives involving restoration, commemoration and the management
of our forests and natural environment. To this day, they continue to increase
public education and knowledge of forestry and environmental issues. Visit the
OFA website at www.oforest.on.ca.

    50 Million Tree Program

    In August 2007, the Ontario government introduced a program to fund the
planting of 50 million trees across the province by 2020, 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 the most ambitious program of its
kind in North America and the largest goal of any jurisdiction, anywhere.
    All kinds of good can come from setting this goal: like offsetting
carbon; diversifying Ontario's landscape; moderating local climates by
providing shade, moderating temperature extremes and reducing the effects of
storms; creating more habitats for wildlife; improving soil and water
conservation; and boosting local economic opportunities - to name just a few.
    The 50 Million Tree Program can significantly cut landowners' costs of
large-scale tree planting and boost the number of trees planted.

For further information:

For further information: Victoria Ollers, GoldFenix Communications, tel:
(416) 822-2288, email: vo@goldfenixcom.ca; Paul Tyler, GoldFenix
Communications, tel: (905) 235-7285, e-mail: pt@goldfenixcom.ca

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