March 25, 2010
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York plants thousands of trees as part of 2009 Greening Strategy successes

Region’s strategic focus on green infrastructure wins national recognition
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York’s Greening Strategy experienced tremendous success in 2009 with the preservation of several environmentally-sensitive properties, promotion of environmental stewardship through various programs and planting of tens of thousands of new trees. 
 
The Region’s environmental efforts earned national recognition in June 2009 from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, who bestowed their Award of Excellence for the Environment.
 
“The York Region Greening Strategy is part of our long-term vision to create healthy, green communities that can be enjoyed for generations,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Our 2009 successes reflect our ongoing commitment to preserve strategic areas, enhance our streetscapes and work with others to help with naturalization efforts in our communities.”
 
York Region reached a number of significant milestones for our Greening Strategy in 2009, including:
 
• Securing 73 hectares (180 acres) on three environmentally-significant properties in partnership with the Nature Conservancy Canada, the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Town of Richmond Hill
• A 28-hectare (69 acres) expansion of the York Regional Forest through recently secured properties
• Planting 80,000 trees and shrubs in backyards, along streams and along street rights-of-way
• Promoting environmental stewardship to thousands of residents through the popular York Children’s Water Festival, Earth Week, Nature’s Classroom programs for schools and monthly forest walks and festivals
 
“The York Region Greening Strategy is an essential program to help guide our efforts in preserving our natural heritage, as well as educating residents on the importance of environmental protection,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services Committee.  “Our successes in preserving and expanding our green spaces, as well as our ongoing education programs such as Natures Classroom and Forest festivals and events, all help to create a culture of environmental sustainability.”
 
The 2009 Greening Strategy successes build upon a number of impressive accomplishments since the initiative begin in 2001.  York Region has worked with environmental partners to help secure more than 850 hectares (2,100 acres) of environmentally-significant properties and planted more than 800,000 trees and shrubs.
 
York Regional Council allocates $1.35 million annually to the York Region Greening Strategy for its property securement and education programs.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1232 / Cell: 905 251-6419
Email: michael.kemp@york.ca

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