Announcing: Oakville Tree Keepers – An Expanded Urban Forest Stewardship Program

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BECOME AN OAKVILLEGREEN TREE KEEPER!

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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 “aas 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 Ocalls 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. Oakvillegreen president, Karen Brock stated, “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. 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. Stay tuned for training updates, stewardship locations and more program information!

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

Media Contact: Giuliana Casimirri, Executive Director, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, Tel: 289-813-1568 Email: ed@oakvillegreen.org