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Fri, 17 May 2013
Capping off Oakville’s Arbor Week activities, Mayor Rob Burton revealed a woodlands restoration project today at Perkins Passage Park. The project, funded in part by a grant from CN’s EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program, saw over 200 trees planted to build and enhance Oakville’s tree canopy.
“The town is dedicated to reaching a 40 per cent urban forest canopy by 2057, and this grant is helping us achieve that goal,” said Mayor Burton. “One of the town’s most unique features is our beautiful tree canopy. Protecting and enhancing it for future generations is another way we’re creating a cleaner, greener town.”
The town’s $25,000 grant from the CN EcoConnexions Program was used, in part, for re-planting the woodland at Perkins Passage this year and a woodland at Cornwall Sports Park last year. Both sites were identified for restoration by the town following the devastating effects of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
Tree plantings are one of many ways in which the town’s Forestry staff are building and enhancing Oakville’s tree canopy. According to John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services, Oakville has the most aggressive EAB management program in Canada, which includes bi-annual treatment of approximately 5,700 public ash trees.
The morning’s activities began with a community tree planting of over 200 seedlings and saplings by volunteers from Oakvillegreen Conservation Association and Whole Foods Market. Earlier in the week, town staff planted more than a dozen sizeable native trees.
Brett J. Jury, superintendent of operations, Southern Ontario zone at CN; Ed Borczon, community advisor at Tree Canada; and Kerry Colborne, vice chair, Oakville Chamber of Commerce were in attendance to assist the Mayor with the final tree planting.
During the ceremony, guests were treated to a storytelling performance of Respect for Mother Earth by actor, storyteller and town crier, Daniel Richer. John McNeil lead guests at the event in a tribute to trees for the important role they play in our everyday lives.
The CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up grant is awarded to municipalities across Canada to promote the greening of municipal properties. CN EcoConnexions, with its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, helps Canadian municipalities establish tree plantings in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner. Funds received by CN for the restoration project were matched by the Town of Oakville.
Other Town of Oakville Arbor Week activities included neighbourhood tree planting events with more than 200 grade four students at seven local schools.
John McNeil, RPF
Manager, Forestry Services
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3395
Communications Advisor, Forestry Services
Strategy, Policy and Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3096