MEDIA RELEASE (Oct. 8) – The Town of Fort Erie is inviting the community to grab a shovel and participate in Plant-a-Tree Day on Saturday, Oct. 15 at United Empire Loyalist Park (Ott Road) from 10 a.m. to noon. Plant-a-Tree Day is being sponsored by the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program with a generous contribution of $25,000 in funding dedicated to replanting 200 trees removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation.
“CN is committed to making a positive impact on the communities along our network, and we are proud to be part of a program that helps to make these communities better places to live, work and play,” said Luc Jobin, president and chief executive officer of CN. “Since we started this program, more than 50,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in 120 communities across Canada, which not only add beauty, but is another way we positively contribute to a sustainable future one community at a time, as planting trees improve air quality and offset carbon emissions.”
Fort Erie was one of 31 communities from across Canada to receive funding through the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program. The objective of the program is to promote community sustainability, through the greening of municipal and community properties across Canada. CN and its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom help Canadian municipalities and community groups establish tree planting and green space enhancement initiatives in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner.
“We are very grateful that Fort Erie was selected as one of the lucky communities to participate in the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop. “Due to the generosity of CN and its partners Tree Canada and Communities-in-Bloom, we will be able to address the devastating effects the Emerald Ash Borer has on our community. The replanting of our urban forest demonstrates the Town’s commitment to maintaining healthy, sustainable communities for generations to come.”
The Town’s Arborist has estimated that all the true ash trees in Fort Erie are infested with EAB totalling approximately 16,500 trees (3,500 town-owned; 13,000 privately-owned). When an ash tree is infested, the pest feeds beneath the bark and disrupts the flow of water and nutrients within the tree causing it to die. In order to offset some of the impact caused by this devastation, the Town has committed to planting 200 replacement trees in our parks and along our roads by the end of 2016.
Successful candidates were chosen on the basis of rigorous selection criteria developed and overseen by CN’s program partners, Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom. The program partners rated each application on those criteria and presented a ranked list of programs from which final candidates were selected.
“Tree Canada is thrilled to continue to work with CN and Communities in Bloom bringing CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up to deserving communities across Canada,” says Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. “This program not only provides funding, but much needed awareness to the value of trees and green spaces to our health and wellbeing as well as the environment. I have personally witnessed the impact this program has had and can honestly say that CN has created a lasting legacy of sustainability for present and future generations.”
“Communities in Bloom is proud to partner with CN and Tree Canada in delivering the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program. The enhancement of green spaces and tree planting provide economic, social and environmental stewardship benefits to the communities for generations to come” said Raymond Carriere, Founding President of Communities in Bloom. “The projects are a demonstration of civic pride, sense of community and feeling of accomplishment through community engagement.”