Finch - South Nation Conservation’s campaign to enhance Eastern Ontario’s forest cover continues with the annual spring partnership with Trees Ontario now underway.
The value of trees in providing shade, habitat, in limiting soil erosion, and in purifying the air can’t be minimized. Data shows that SNC’s 4,000 square-km watershed is lacking the numbers of trees necessary for maximum environmental benefit.
“As a general rule, the more trees the better,” said Josee Brizard, SNC Team Lead, Forest Resources. “Part of our duty as an environmental organization is to protect and expand trees in our jurisdiction.”
This spring, through Trees Ontario, SNC acquired 123,000 seedlings to distribute among property owners in the watershed. The program provides up to $1.35 per tree, with owners asked for .20 cents per seedling.
Time is running out for this season’s program. However, starting in June, SNC will begin taking orders and conducting site visits in preparation for 2014 tree planting.
Eligible sites must be open and at least 2.5 acres in size, or windbreak projects sufficient for a 1,000-tree minimum; owners must sign 15-year management agreements to maintain the trees, employ sound forestry practices, and assume any additional costs.
For watershed residents within Ottawa boundaries, the city has a Green Acres program that subsidizes 50 percent of tree planting projects; minimum property required is one acre.
Brizard underlined some successful planting projects taking advantage of the Trees Ontario partnership. Two occurred earlier in May when Russell Scouts combined with other volunteers to plant 2,000 trees at the Russell Township landfill. The events helped the municipality reach its goal of 10,000 trees planted this year.
Since the Moose Creek Watershed Committee formed in 2006, more than 5,000 trees have been planted through 10 free or low-cost projects. Eligible projects include buffers, wetland and fish habitat enhancement, woodlot management plans, and erosion protection.
“It’s with dedicated volunteers banding together in projects such as these that we’ll replace lost trees and add new ones,” Brizard observed. “Our children and grandchildren will thank us some day.”