Ontario urban park to see over 20,000 trees planted this spring

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Forests Ontario and partners are working to plant 26,000 new trees in Rouge National Urban Park, in Toronto, as part of the federal government’s pledge to plant millions of trees to combat climate change.

The trees planted are aimed at creating riparian buffers and wetlands, improving habitat connectivity, fixing carbon, and enriching agricultural soils in Rouge National Urban Park, according to Forests Ontario. The group is working with Parks Canada and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to complete large-scale afforestation plantings at the park next year.

The park has a goal of restoring over 60 acres of forest by 2022.

Trees are being planted strategically for natural habitat restoration, as well as to create wind breaks for farm fields, build carbon sinks, and help to reduce flooding by stabilizing soil.

Forests Ontario is also planting an eight-kilometre-long windbreak along a section of the park’s trail network through the organization’s 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP). This will also be undertaken in collaboration with Parks Canada and TRCA; together, the partners will establish 19 more kilometres of windbreak during the next several years.

Rouge National Urban Park was established in 2015. Farming still occurs within the park boundaries, a source of contention for some environmentalists and park users.

Ontario residents interested in participating in the 50 million tree program can be added to the waitlist for 2022 by visiting www.forestsontario.ca.

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