Forests Ontario has made the 50 Million Tree Program more accessible.
The non-profit organization — which aims to increase forest cover — announced new criteria for its flagship large-scale tree planting program on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Property owners with room to plant a minimum of 500 trees can now apply. The revised program creates more opportunity for urban and suburban tree planting, as well as rural planting, officials stated.
“The new, expanded criteria opens the program up to more land and property owners, meaning more trees in the ground,” Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen stated in a release. “It’s a win-win for landowners, who save on tree planting costs, and for the environment.”
More than 29 million trees planted
More than 29 million trees have been planted since 2008 through the program, which includes more than 80 partners, such as conservation authorities, stewardship groups, and First Nations.
More than 5,000 landowners have planted trees, yielding 16,000 hectares of new forest and sequestering more than 22,000 tonnes of carbon per year, officials stated. The program also supports some 300 full-time, seasonal forest jobs.
The provincial government cancelled funding for the program in April. After significant public outcry, the federal government committed as much as $15 million over four years to the program. Funding also now comes from corporate sponsors and donors, officials stated.