Plant A Tree Challenge

The Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), Donna Cansfield, was in Toronto yesterday to launch the province's Plant A Tree Challenge. Pictured above at the Ryerson University campus, she presented to a crowd of Ryerson and University of Toronto students in grad programs with environmental relevance. Although clearly a photo-op for the Minister, it can't hurt to have things kicked off here in Toronto which deserves its share of the 50 million trees Premier McGuinty announced would be planted in southern Ontario by 2020.

It was claimed that funds are being made available to make planting projects happen through partnerships and grants. However, details are hard to come by as far as how you would actually take advantage of any funding if available. A look at the newly launched Plant A Tree website appears to be mostly about the province trying to include as many private plantings (pledges) as possible towards their targets.

Perhaps the most significant development is the apparent support for Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to greening urban spaces in Canada. Manager of Green Space Planning Lois Lindsay invited the crowd to learn more about how to get involved in Toronto. They also have a neat Native Plant Database you can search to help choose the best species of trees for your region.

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy also offered a few words and highlighted that green space is addressed in the university's plans for expansion including their recently approved Master Plan.

The Plant A Tree Challenge is specifically being touted as an effort to fight climate change, as evidenced by statements on the website which is nested in the MNR's climate change section. More relevant to Toronto is the climate change adaptation plan released just last month by the City.

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