Councillor Chin Lee (Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River) and City staff joined members of the community to plant over 2,400 trees and shrubs as part of the Trees Across Toronto program. Also on hand at Milliken Park were representatives from Lomco Landscape Contractors, HSBC Bank Canada, Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation and Enbridge Gas Distribution along with more than 2,000 volunteers for the Trees Across Toronto annual tree planting event.
“Trees are one of the most important features of our natural environment. As citizens of Toronto, it is our responsibility to protect, maintain and grow our urban forest canopy,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “Trees Across Toronto is a splendid example of corporate sponsors, City staff and the community working together to show our commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Once again, Torontonians have stepped up their commitment to environmental stewardship of our urban canopy. Since 1999 approximately 240,465 trees have been planted through the volunteer planting,” said Councillor Lee. “By volunteering their time and efforts to plant trees today, Torontonians have exercised their green thumbs to increase our urban forest and enhance our natural urban spaces.”
The Ice Storm of 2013, Emerald Ash Borer infestation and other causes of ongoing tree mortality make planting more trees the likelihood that Toronto will be invaded by other forest pests, crucial. Toronto has approximately 860,000 ash trees and it is expected that the Emerald Ash Borer will kill most of them by 2017. The volunteers who attended today’s event contributed to counteracting the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer by adding new trees to the Urban Forest.
Today, hundreds of volunteers at Milliken Park planted native trees and shrubs. At Newtonbrook Park, the other Trees Across Toronto planting site, volunteers planted hundreds more for a total of over 2,400 native trees and shrubs.
Anyone who missed today’s planting event is invited to plant a tree on their own property or consult the Green Toronto website for additional planting events hosted by the City of Toronto this spring. Over 60 per cent of the urban forest is on private property. It is crucial that residents plant trees on public and private property if Toronto is going to protect and nurture its urban forest. Every tree counts.
Toronto’s urban forest contributes significantly to Toronto’s livability. When you plant a tree, you are contributing to making Toronto a green and healthy city.
More information about tree planting and Trees Across Toronto is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/engagement/tat.