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Painting Canada’s Towns Green:

Twenty-five communities around Canada will soon be turning green as TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and Tree Canada award various creative urban greening ideas with the annual TD Green Street grants.

The funds, which is up to $15,000, will be used to support leading-edge practices in municipal forestry, including tree planting, inventory, maintenance, and educational activities.

“Based on the number of innovative ideas we continue to receive, it’s clear that Canadian municipalities are inspired to build a greener future,” said Mary Desjardins, executive director, TD FEF.

She added that the organisation is proud to support the advancement of urban forestry and applauds the applicants for understanding the benefits that trees bring to their communities.

The recipients were awarded for proposing various initiatives, including outreach and educational programs related to arboricultural practices, management tools to protect and maintain community trees, innovative planting techniques, and other activities that support the urban green spaces already existing while encouraging tree planting at the same time.

“We are so pleased that Canadians continue to recognise the great importance of trees in creating a more sustainable, vibrant, and healthy communities,” said Michael Rosen, president of Tree Canada. “Thanks to innovative programs like TD Green Streets, we are growing canopies across the country and, more importantly, setting the example for future generations to continue to plant and maintain trees for the benefit of all.”

Applications to the program were open to Canadian municipalities, Aboriginal communities and Business Improvement Associations (BIAs).

Here are some of the recipients of the grant and how they will impact Canadian communities in 2014:

  • Abbotsford, BC – In collaboration with the Mission Nature Club, the city plans to revitalize the Willband Creek Park by planting native shrub and tree species and removing invasive reed canary grass. These efforts will significantly improve biodiversity and increase waterfowl habitat.
  • Brampton, ON – As part of a comprehensive plan for environmental improvement of the County Court community, the city will install two demonstration bio-swales – landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water – which will capture and treat storm water runoff before it enters the sewer system.
  • Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC – Funds will be applied to the construction of the first arboretum in the city, which will be used for awareness and education programs. The arboretum will include a pre-colonial forest, North American trees that adapt to climate change and a small orchard of apples, plums, pears and cherries.  
  • Summerside, PEI – Several activities are planned for the Summerside Rotary Friendship Park, which provides educational and recreational opportunities for area citizens and visitors. Some of these initiatives include the installation of an accessible community garden and the planting of indigenous trees to promote forest regeneration.

For the full list, check out Tree Canada’s website. Past recipients have used the funds to bring more canopy to their neighbourhoods, plant more trees, enganing the youth in their planting programs and so on.

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