March 31, 2009
Media Release

York Region has great successes in building green infrastructure

Thousand of new trees planted, strategic properties protected from development
NEWMARKET …quot; The Regional Municipality of York achieved another milestone in 2008 for our successful Greening Strategy program by increasing forest cover, creating greater public awareness of Greening initiatives and securing a record amount of land for conservation purposes.  More than 65,000 trees and shrubs were planted on public and private lands, 7,000 community members attended educational forums and a total of 315 hectares of land were secured for conservation.
 
“The Greening Strategy successes demonstrate our continued leadership and commitment to protecting the natural environment,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “With these achievements we are on our way to attaining our goal of 25 per cent forest cover.”
 
Through restoration and tree planting programs, a total of 33,000 trees and shrubs were planted on 40 sites across York Region.  Another 34,000 trees were planted in the York Regional Forest.  In addition, thousands of people were educated about the natural environment through the Region’s popular Nature’s Classroom workshops, monthly Forest Walks and Greening events.
 
“Environmental protection is extremely important in sustaining our quality of life, now and for the future,” said The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “The success of educational programs like the York Children’s Water Festival and Earth Week Celebrations will help us create a culture of sustainability which is integral to the Region’s Greening Strategy.”
 
The year 2008 will also be remembered as a banner year for conservation land securement in York Region.  The Region and our partners secured a total of nine properties for conservation purposes, comprising 315 hectares (782 acres) of land.
 
For 2009, York Regional Council has approved annual funding of $1.35 million for the Greening Strategy from the 2009 Capital Budget.  This includes protecting strategic properties and forming partnerships with other municipalities to assess and better grow our urban forest.
 
Since the Greening Strategy program began in 2001 more than 879 hectares (2,189 acres) of conservation land have been protected for their environmental value.  Implementation of this strategy has resulted in York Region being recognized as a leader in developing green infrastructure and programs for our local communities.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact Rohit Jajoo, Corporate Communications, York Region
                                       Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1207 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                                       Email: Rohit.Jajoo@york.ca
 
 

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