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Feds provide $276K for tree planting in region

Severn Sound Environmental Association receives funding through 2 Billion Trees program
20200926 Trees For Guelph AD 2
Ariel Deutschmann/Village Media file photo

Action to reverse climate change and enhance the local environment in the Severn Sound region is getting a major helping hand.

The Government of Canada is announcing over $276,000 to aid in expanding the tree-planting programs of the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA). Federal funding is provided through the 2 Billion Trees program, aimed at partnering with governments and organizations to plant two billion trees over 10 years.

“By supporting this project from the Severn Sound Environmental Association, we are advancing our climate goals, creating good jobs, and helping to ensure increased resiliency and cleaner air in the local community,” shares the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of natural resources Canada. “This investment advances Canada’s goal of planting two billion trees, a key part of our plan to fight the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

“We are hoping to significantly increase our tree-planting capacity,” says Steffen Walma, chair of the SSEA, “turning our existing small-scale tree-planting program into a much larger one that will benefit both rural and urban constituents — resulting in environmental, social and economic benefits for all.”

The Building Tree Planting Capacity in the Severn Sound Watershed project includes hiring additional staff and developing local expertise on tree planting to be shared with Indigenous communities, property owners, municipalities and others interested in using forest cover to offset the impacts of climate change, managing stormwater, reducing flooding, protecting topsoil and improving water quality.

“Aside from the great environmental positives of this two-year project, this federal investment into our region’s economy means at least one new green job locally,” says SSEA executive director Julie Cayley, “as well as indirect support of numerous other jobs — including tree nurseries, material and equipment suppliers, media service providers and professional foresters.”

The newly expanded project also aims to engage Indigenous and community groups, as well as local schools by getting them involved in tree planting — which till now has been about 10,000 trees annually for the Severn Sound Environmental Association.



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