Media Release

April 23, 2012

The Regional Municipality of York Greening Strategy expands Regional greenspace

Hundreds of hectares of land secured for conservation purposes since 2001
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York Greening Strategy has secured 973 hectares of land over the past 11 years. The Greening Strategy increases and protects forests and tree cover and rehabilitates natural areas throughout York Region.
“York Regional Council approved the Greening Strategy in 2001 as a way of achieving our goal of 25 per cent forest cover in York Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “We have partnered with 45 different agencies, municipalities, groups and private landowners to firmly establish our position as an environmental steward. These efforts will continue into the future as the link between environmental health and public health grows stronger.”
The 2011 Greening Strategy Initiatives Summary highlights the many programs in place to increase York Region’s forest cover. The programs are grouped into five categories:
• Land Securement
• Urban Forest
• Tree planting programs
• Education and outreach
• Regional operations
“York Region is ideally suited to offer our residents the opportunity to explore forested areas very close to their homes,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. “The Region continues to expand its green space, both within our rural areas and urban centres.”
Land secured for conservation purposes
In 2011, 37.5 hectares of land was secured for conservation purposes throughout York Region. Partners in these conservation initiatives include the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, the Town of Aurora and Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority. Properties secured are the Rooke property donation, Emery property easement, Case Woodlot purchase, Olejnicza property purchase and the transfer of the Clarke property.

Tree planting programs
Through the York Natural Planting Partnership, more than 59,230 trees and shrubs were planted by 10 private landowners.
• 475 trees were planted by 315 volunteers in the Eldred King Woodlands during the Spring Forest Festival
• More than 500 trees were planted by York Region Environmental Services staff as part of an annual team building exercise
• More than 4,870 trees and shrubs were distributed to 22 Regional landowners as part of the bulk seedling order program, providing residents with an opportunity to purchase bulk quantities of trees and shrubs at reduced prices

Education and outreach
The importance of environmental awareness is communicated through a number of educational initiatives:
• York Region’s Nature’s Classroom programs included 35 events reaching 934 residents in 2011
• Participation in the annual York Children’s Water Festival (YCWF) resulted in the planting of 500 trees, bringing the total planted in conjunction with the YCWF to more than 6,500 trees
• 280 students learned about nature in the York Regional Forest in 2011
• More than 2,100 people attended York Region Forest Festivals and events to learn the importance of our green spaces
Urban forest
• Through York Region’s partnership with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), the do-it-yourself subsidized tree planting program has expanded to all municipalities; private landowners in central and southern York Region are eligible for a full-service, subsidized backyard tree planting program
Regional Operations
• York Region has developed the Greenlands Trail System Concept Study and a strategy is in development this year to implement a Greenlands Trail System
To read the 2011 Greening Strategy Achievements, please visit
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Media Contact: Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications, York Region
 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1237 • Cell: 905-505-5775 •,

Founded in 1971, The Regional Municipality of York is made up of nine municipalities
and provides services to more than one million residents, 29,000 businesses and 495,000 employees.

 For more information visit us at Follow us on : York Region   @YorkRegionGovt  
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