On behalf of the Ontario government, MPP Kevin Flynn celebrated Earth Week at Bronte Creek Provincial Park by helping plant the ten millionth tree under Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program.
“Launched in 2007, our partnership program with Trees Ontario is one of the most ambitious re-greening projects in North America and represents a commitment to plant 50 million trees across southern Ontario,” said MPP Flynn. “That commitment remains as strong today as it was five years ago.”
As they grow, the 50 million trees planted will help fight climate change by removing about 6.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2050.
“Greening Ontario’s landscape also helps restore the many other important benefits nature provides to us through trees,” said Flynn. “Trees shade our homes, add beauty to the countryside, prevent soil erosion, and provide habitat and food for birds and animals.”
MPP Kevin Flynn was joined by the CEO of Trees Ontario, Robert Keen,OntarioParks’ staff and students.
The partnership program is designed to increase the number of trees planted in southern Ontario by significantly reducing the costs landowners incur by undertaking large-scale tree planting.
This program is also part of Ontario’s commitment to the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign.
There have been more than 1,000 participants to date. To be eligible, you must own a productive area of open land at least one hectare in size, sign a 15-year management agreement to maintain the trees, employ good forestry practices, and be willing to assume some of the additional maintenance costs.
As the lead delivery agent for the program, Trees Ontario works through local tree planting agencies to provide landowners with hands-on professional help and advice about planting trees.
All the trees planted through the partnership are species native to Ontario, and grown from seeds collected in the area where they are being planted. That’s because some non-native species brought to Ontario from other countries, or other parts of Canada, can invade natural areas and crowd out local trees and plants. Choosing native trees grown from local seeds helps ensure the newly planted trees thrive and support the local environment.
“Earth Week gives us an opportunity to think about all of the things we can do together, and as individuals, to make the small changes that add up to big differences,” said Flynn. “I encourage all Ontarians to help grow a greener future for our province by joining in large-scale community tree-planting efforts, or just planting a single tree in your own back yard.”
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