Ontario's First 50 Million Tree Weekend Launched

    Major tree planting events to take place in Ontario on Mother's Day

    TORONTO, April 9 /CNW/ - Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources,
kicked off the spring tree planting season and announced Ontario's first
annual 50 Million Tree Weekend which will feature major community tree
planting events during this year's Mother's Day weekend.
    A team of Girl Guides and the minister planted a healthy native white
pine at Toronto's waterfront to kick-off Ontario's busy tree planting season.
    Over the next six weeks, Trees Ontario is expected to plant approximately
two million trees as part of the Ontario government's 50 Million Tree program,
which will see 50 million trees planted in southern Ontario by 2020. This is
the single largest commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign
aimed at planting one billion trees worldwide each year.
    With today's announcement, Mother's Day weekend becomes the focal point
of community-based tree planting initiatives for the 50 Million Tree Program.
    Last fall and winter, Trees Ontario and its tree planting partners hosted
free tree planting workshops across the province.
    "I'm overwhelmed by the attendance at those workshops, which helped us
secure many tree planting commitments from Ontario landowners," said
Cansfield. "The 50 Million Tree Weekend will make it easy for Ontarians to
take part and show their enthusiasm for greening the province and helping to
fight climate change."
    This year's 50 Million Tree Weekend will feature community tree planting
events across the province including Guelph, Alliston and Mississauga on May 8
and Whitchurch-Stouffville (near Newmarket) and Kingston on May 9. More
details on these and other tree planting events can be found at
    "Now in its second year, the 50 Million Tree Program has already had
close to 1.3 million trees planted across Ontario, with another two million to
go into the ground in the next six weeks," said Michael Scott, President and
CEO, Trees Ontario. "The more people that become involved, the more trees we
can plant to meet our commitment to the United Nations and reach our goal for
a greener Ontario."

    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.
    This spring, with its partners, Trees Ontario will plant close to 3
million trees. Visit the Trees Ontario website at www.treesontario.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.
    Working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and its
tree-planting partners, Trees Ontario will plant two million trees over the
next year as part of this program.

    Planting Locations for Ontario's First 50 Million Tree Weekend
    - May 8 & 9, 2009

    To sign up or for more information and maps, go to

    Date and Time   Event Location          Partner        to include:
    May 8           GUELPH/ERAMOSA:         Grand River    Local school group
    10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Guelph Rotary Forest    Conservation   from GRCA Nature
                    Guelph Lake             Authority      Centre and public
                    Conservation Area
                    7743 Conservation Dr.,
                    RR 4
    May 8           NEAR ALLISTON:          South Simcoe   Local high school
    10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Tosorontio Concession   Streams        group from St.
                    Road 3 (North of        Network        Thomas Aquinas
                    5th sideroad)                          Catholic Secondary
                    Adjala-Tosorontio                      School and public
    May 8           MISSISSAUGA:            Credit Valley  CVC's Conservation
    10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Riverrun Park, Pine     Conservation   Youth Corps and
                    Cliff Drive (Northwest                 public
                    of Creditview/

    May 9           WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE:  York Region   Minister
    10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Near Newmarket                         Cansfield,
                    York Regional Forest                   community members,
                    Graves and Bendor                      families and York
                    Tract, Davis Drive                     Region staff
                    (Between Kennedy and
    May 9           KINGSTON:               Cataraqui      Friends of Lemoine
    9 a.m.-         Lemoine Point           Region         Point
    11:30 a.m.      Conservation Area,      Conservation   volunteers and
                    1990 Front Road         Authority      public

For further information:

For further information: Paul Tyler, GoldFenix Communications, tel:
(416) 254-0698, email: pt@goldfenixcom.ca; Victoria Ollers, GoldFenix
Communications, tel: (416) 822-2288, email: vo@goldfenixcom.ca

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