Town recognizes Union Gas and community volunteers for their commitment to canopy conservation

Thu, 08 Oct 2015

On October 7, 2015, the town recognized volunteers in the Forest Health Ambassador program and corporate sponsor, Union Gas, for their contribution to Oakville’s canopy conservation efforts.

At the event, Mark Egbedeyi-Emmanuel, Union Gas district manager for Hamilton/Halton presented Mayor Burton with a $3,000 cheque to fund future tree plantings to help regenerate one of the many woodlands affected by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

“It is clear we are all working to create an even cleaner, greener Oakville,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Thanks to Union Gas’ financial contribution and our volunteers’ support, our tree canopy will continue to flourish.”

This is the second year Union Gas has provided a grant for tree plantings.

“At Union Gas, we care about the environment. That’s why we’re pleased to continue our support of the Town of Oakville’s Canopy Conservation program. We’re proud to support the important work that Oakville is doing on environmental conservation in this community, a goal we share,” Mark Egbedeyi-Emmanuel said.

The Canopy Conservation and Forest Health Ambassador programs are both part of the town’s overall EAB Management program.

The Forest Health Ambassador program is run in partnership with the town’s consultant, BioForest. Volunteers are trained on how to monitor neighbourhood street trees for invasive insects, disease and other issues related to forest health with the goal of early detection and tree preservation. The volunteers were presented with a lapel pin to commemorate their contribution to surveying approximately 1,000 trees collectively this year.

“General awareness and support from our residents is crucial to the health of our urban forest. The entire community can help with early detection and tree plantings” said John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services.

This year, the town began removing dead and dying ash trees destroyed by EAB from the town’s woodlands to ensure public safety and to help the woodlands renew. While natural regeneration will account for most of the regrowth in the woodlands, select planting sites are planned to help the forest regrow more rapidly with desirable native species. Tree plantings will begin in select areas next spring.

Residents interested in taking part in tree plantings or becoming a volunteer Forest Health Ambassador can contact canopyclub@oakville.ca.

By maintaining its sustainable and environmentally responsible forest management, the town is the first lower-tier municipality in Canada to have all 280 of its woodlands achieve Forest Stewardship Council® certification through the forest certification program of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.

For more information on EAB management and other tree related matters visit the EAB page or contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 or email service@oakville.ca.