Anybody who lives in Willowdale knows how valuable trees are to this community – and how much our beautiful urban forest was devastated in December’s storm. City forestry crews are still assessing the damage and preparing a comprehensive restoration plan.
In the meantime, this week’s budget included $7 million in new funding to plant 97,000 new trees. Council has also allocated both reserve funds and money within the regular budget to deal with the huge clean-up, repair and maintenance backlog created by the storm.
Toronto has an estimated 10.2 million trees covering about 28% of the city. The task ahead is so enormous that we can use all the help we can get from organizations and individual residents. The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, a non-profit volunteer organization supported by the City, plans to raise more than $500,000 this year to repair and replace trees. If you’d like to make a tax-deductable contribution to the Foundation’s “recover the canopy” campaign, please click here.
The City of Toronto also offers a Free Tree program for the City owned street allowances fronting residential properties. You can get information on planting a free tree here
If you’d rather a new tree in your back yard, a subsidized planting program is available through LEAF. More information is available here
My office has also been working with Forestry to establish more tree plantings in local parks and green space with several hundred new trees planned for Sheppard East, Ancona, Charleton and Glendora Parks this spring. Stay tuned for more information.