Oakvillegreen receives $10,000 grant for expanded Urban Forest Stewardship Program

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Oakvillegreen receives $10,000 grant for expanded Urban Forest Stewardship Program

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Karen Brock

Karen Brock

Karen Brock has a passion for protecting the environment and human health. Karen has been president of Oakvillegreen since 2011, a board member since 2010 and a volunteer with Ground Breakers, Oakvillegreen’s tree planting program, prior to that.

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Oakvillegreen Conservation Association is pleased to acknowledge the financial support of The Oakville Environmental Fund and The Alma Fund (held within the Oakville Community Foundation) to support ‘Tree Keepers’ – an urban forest stewardship program. The grant of $10,000.00 will be used to hire a program coordinator and to train local residents to carry out on-the-ground stewardship activities to improve the health of trees and woodlands in their neighbourhoods.

This program will educate and empower residents to be ‘urban tree keepers’ and to increase Oakville’s tree diversity and support the Town of Oakville’s 40 per cent urban forest canopy coverage goal. Neighbourhood tree keepers will be involved in planting trees, removing invasive species, seed collection, mulching, and conducting tree inventory and invasive species monitoring.

Oakvillegreen’s Executive Director, Dr. Giuliana Casimirri, noted that “as the Town of Oakville faces the loss of at least 10% of its urban forest canopy due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle, we get calls almost daily from residents who want to help to replant and restore urban trees and woodland patches in their neighbourhoods.” According to Dr. Casimirri, “training local residents to be urban tree keepers will improve urban forest health, which is good for trees and ultimately our health, but it will also improve community appreciation of our environment and build connections between neighbours, which is good for our community.”

Oakville has a long term goal of increasing its tree canopy from 29%, in 2009, to 40% by 2057. The Town of Oakville cannot achieve this goal on its own. The only way to make this goal a reality is for more residents to get involved and protect our urban forests and increase the number of trees on both public and private property. This generous grant from the The Oakville Environmental Fund and The Alma Fund moves us one step closer to making this goal a reality.

Oakvillegreen is launching the Tree Keepers program in May 2016. The program will be open to all Oakville residents. Oakvillegreen is requesting residents who are interested in volunteering to care for urban trees and woodland patches in their neighbourhood to contact them via programs@oakvillegreen.org. Training updates, stewardship locations and more program information will be posted at: www.oakvillegreen.org.

Oakvillegreen is a not-for-profit community organization founded in 1999. Oakvillegreen strives to make Oakville a living city with enhanced natural diversity and healthier greenspaces and to reconnect people to the natural environment in their neighbourhood and across their community to increase their awareness of the importance of nature and move them to action to protect, enhance and restore Oakville’s natural environment.

The Oakville Community Foundation is a registered charitable public foundation serving the Oakville Community (www.theocf.org).

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