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Published on Monday, October 30, 2017

"Please Let's Add New Trees" (PLANT) support grows

Oakvillegreen throws support behind mayor's tree planting initiative

"Please Let's Add New Trees" (PLANT) support grows
Photo by Nikki Wesley/Metroland Media
CAO Bo Ouyang, CEO Robert Hardt and Co-op Student Muhammad Hannan plant a tree during the sixth annual Siemens and Tree Canada tree planting at Valleyridge Park
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Oakvillegreen Conservation Association says it supports a tree planting initiative proposed by Oakville Mayor Rob Burton during his ‘State of the Town’ address last week. 

In his Oct. 23 speech, Burton announced several new commitments to protect Oakville’s green space including a tree planting initiative. 

“We have come a long way from the clear-cutting days of our founders,” he said. 

“I am pleased to share that staff are finalizing the details of a new town initiative to be called PLANT (Please Let’s Add New Trees). We will encourage individuals, community groups and corporations to plant trees on their properties and on town property every year.”

Burton added that this would help Oakville reach its goal of a 40 per cent canopy cover by 2057.

He also noted that if residents succeeded in planting one million trees by 2057, they would be taking more than 3.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas out of the air.

In a press release issued last week, Oakvillegreen said they were pleased with the mayor’s commitment to developing a tree planting and stewardship action plan and see this as a positive step for Oakville’s urban forest.

“We look forward to the commitment being operationalized to reflect the real scope of the work needed to increase Oakville’s tree canopy from the current 27.8 per cent to our canopy cover target of 40 per cent by 2057, set in 2008,” the release reads.

“We will continue to work with the Town of Oakville and other community partners, including the Oakville Horticultural Society, to ensure that the good intentions of this announcement are carried out.”

The group noted the greatest opportunities for expanding tree cover in Oakville exist on private lands.

They said planting trees on public lands alone would not meet the town’s tree canopy target.

Oakvillegreen also said canopy cover, species diversity and species distribution objectives should drive a comprehensive tree planting action plan for both public and private lands.

These efforts, they said, must be accompanied by enhanced support for post-planting care and maintenance and related public outreach and education investments.

“We look forward to moving beyond plans and commitments and towards multi-year budget commitments, and staffing resources required to develop and implement a well thought out tree planting and stewardship action plan for Oakville,” said the conservation association.

“Oakville’s future is indeed green if we keep working together one tree at a time.”

Residents interested in participating in the Oakvillegreen backyard tree planting program or tree planting and stewardship of trees in parks and green spaces can contact the group at programs@oakvillegreen.org.

Workshops, stewardship events and more information are posted at www.oakvillegreen.org.

Oakvillegreen is a not-for-profit community organization founded in 1999 to make Oakville a living city with enhanced natural diversity and healthier green spaces.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

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