By: The Working Forest Staff
Toronto, ON – Forests Ontario has announced new support for its 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP) today. The 50 MTP is a large-scale tree planting program for property owners with the goal of increasing forest cover in Ontario.
“The 50 MTP is better and more accessible than ever,” said Rob Keen, CEO of non-profit charity, Forests Ontario. “The new, expanded criteria opens the program up to more land and property owners, meaning more trees in the ground. It’s a win-win for landowners, who save on tree planting costs, and for the environment.”
Under the new criteria, property owners with room to plant a minimum of 500 trees can apply. The revised program creates more opportunities for urban and suburban tree planting, as well as rural planting.
Since 2008, Forests Ontario has facilitated the planting of more than 29 million trees through the 50 MTP. This achievement has been made possible by the hard work of over 80 dedicated partners, such as conservation authorities, stewardship groups, and First Nations. More than 5,000 landowners have planted trees, yielding 16,000 hectares of new forest and sequestering more than 22,000 tonnes of carbon per year. The 50 MTP also supports 300 full-time, seasonal forest jobs.
The Government of Ontario canceled funding for the 50 MTP in April of 2019. In response, public support for tree planting came quickly: the media wrote hundreds of articles about the 50 MTP cancellation and 100,000 people signed a petition in support of Forests Ontario’s tree planting efforts.
In June, the Government of Canada committed up to $15M over four years towards the program. Funding now also comes from corporate sponsors and donors.
Those wishing to apply for the program can visit forestsontario.ca/50mtp