Goderich wins urban forestry grant
March 14, 2016
Goderich has the opportunity to help save the Maitland Woods from the emerald ash borer thanks to a TD Green Streets grant.
Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation reviewed over 140 applications from across the country and ultimately chose 13 communities to receive grants of up to $25,000. Goderich is one of three Ontario communities to be chosen.
The Town of Goderich is experiencing a major invasion of the emerald ash borer, resulting in a significant loss of its ash tree population. Within the Town of Goderich limits, located on the south end of the town, there is an urban forest containing a series of trail systems (totaling 3.3 km in length) known as the Maitland Wood. This trail system is used all year round by the Goderich community for activities such as walking, hiking and skiing, as well as community events, such as the lighted lantern walk. Throughout this trail system, there are boardwalks to protect plant life, as well as signage to indicate the various tree species. Sadly, the Maitland Wood has lost 30-40 per cent of its canopy from the invasion of the emerald ash borer. The city plans to use the grant money to cut down dead ash trees to improve safety around the trail system and replace these with approximately 625 trees of a variety of native tree species in order to increase canopy cover and biodiversity in this urban forest. For every ash tree removed in the Maitland Wood, they would like to plant two trees in its place.
Since its inception in 1994, Green Streets – the only national grant program focused on innovation in urban forestry – has awarded funding to more than 500 municipalities across the country. This year proposals ranged from community tree plantings to urban farming to Adopt a Tree programs.
"Growing the tree canopy in urban centres is vital for the health of Canadian communities and all the people who live in them," said Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada.
TD Green Streets 2016 was open to Canadian municipalities, Aboriginal communities and Business Improvement Associations (BIAs). Submissions were reviewed by representatives from Tree Canada, TD FEF and regional urban forest practitioners and were evaluated on innovation, community involvement and technical expertise.
Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. Since 1992, nearly 80 million trees have been planted, over 550 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has helped organize eleven national urban forest conferences. The next Canadian Urban Forest Conference will take place in Laval, QC in 2016. More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.