Greenbelt Foundation Celebrates Planting Half a Million Trees with Forests Ontario
The Greenbelt Foundation and Forests Ontario are working together to increase urban and rural forest cover and improve climate resilience in communities across Ontario’s Greenbelt.
Richmond Hill, Ont. (June 19, 2023) – Today, the Greenbelt Foundation, Forests Ontario, their planting partners and local political figures gathered in Richmond Hill to celebrate the planting of 500,000 trees on private and public land in the Greenbelt and its river valleys over the last two years – but the planting is far from over.
Tree planting in the Greenbelt contributes to provincial and federal goals, while having the critical benefit of improving our green spaces and reducing climate risks in the country’s most populous region"
“Tree planting in the Greenbelt contributes to provincial and federal goals, while having the critical benefit of improving our green spaces and reducing climate risks in the country’s most populous region,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “But it’s not just about planting lots of trees. It’s about planting the right trees in the right places, which is exactly what we’re working with Forests Ontario to do.”
Healthy, connected tree cover is a proven form of natural infrastructure that protects our freshwater systems, supports biodiversity like the pollinators we rely on for crops, reduces the impacts of climate change like flooding, and provides important green space to local communities. Healthy forests have also supported local Indigenous cultures and economies since time immemorial.
“Forests Ontario has developed the expertise and infrastructure to grow and track tree planting from seed to thriving forest, and we are the only Canadian charity that addresses each stage of this process to ensure our collective tree planting efforts result in heathy, diverse forests,” says Jess Kaknevicius, CEO of Forests Ontario. “We are thrilled to be working with the Greenbelt Foundation again to improve tree cover and strengthen our natural systems.”
Working in collaboration with Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, municipalities and private landowners across Ontario’s Greenbelt were once again able to plant trees at a reduced cost through the support of the Greenbelt Foundation’s 1 Million Trees in the Greenbelt project. With the ongoing support of the Province of Ontario, the Greenbelt Foundation is able to provide grants to execute planting projects throughout the Greenbelt.
The goals of the project are to increase tree cover using native species, reduce landowner costs, and improve the health and resilience of the Greenbelt’s natural heritage systems by engaging with regional and community planting partners, stewardship groups, forestry consultants and First Nations, to get more trees in the ground.
While future plantings will largely be guided by the applications submitted, the Greenbelt Foundation and partners are identifying datasets, modelling tools and other information to determine where forest cover is most needed. Municipalities, communities and landowners in the Greenbelt who are suitable for large reforestation efforts are encouraged to visit www.greenbelt.ca to determine if they fall within the Greenbelt’s boundaries for this project and apply.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Greenbelt Foundation Media
Telephone: (416) 960-0001
About The Greenbelt Foundation
The Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural and economic systems to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario’s Greenbelt is one of the world’s largest with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water and a reliable local food source. greenbelt.ca.
Instagram: @ongreenbelt | Twitter: @greenbeltca | Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact: (416) 960-0001 Extension: 311 | [email protected]
About Forests Ontario & Forest Recovery Canada
Forests Ontario is the province’s leading charity dedicated to the creation, preservation, and maintenance of forest and grassland habitats. Our ambitious, large-scale tree planting initiatives, extensive educational programs, and decades of community outreach result in millions of trees being planted each year.
Together with our national division, Forest Recovery Canada, we work with our many partners across the country to plant native trees and ensure our efforts today thrive and grow into tomorrow’s diverse, healthy, and resilient forests.