Melissa Williams's picture
Posted by Melissa Williams /
©2013 Torie Gervais / LEAF
This spring, with support from the Government of Ontario and York Region, LEAF launched its new Youth EAB Ambassador Program. LEAF provided 11 elementary schools from the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) with in-class workshops that taught students the importance of the urban forest and the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).


Schools then competed to see how many trees and shrubs they could get planted through LEAF’s subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program.  We even offered additional rebates of $50 per tree and $5 per shrub to York Region participants for the duration of the contest.  It was great to see these enthusiastic students encouraging their families, friends and neighbours to do their part to restore our urban forest!

By working together with these schools, we were able to reach 4600 households across the Region with information about the effects of this invasive pest and what residents can do to take action.


Students at Prince of Peace Catholic Elementary School created this fantastic display to raise awareness about EAB in their school

The three top-selling schools won gift certificates for plant material worth $1000, $500 and $250. These certificates can be used to plant new trees and shrubs in schoolyards, which will enhance biodiversity and create more shade for students. The winning schools for the spring contest were:

1st place ($1000 gift certificate): Prince of Peace Catholic Elementary School (Georgina)

2nd place ($500 gift certificate):  Holy Name Catholic Elementary School (King Township)

3rd place ($250 gift certificate):  St. Justin, Martyr Catholic Elementary School (Markham)





While the main contest closed on June 5th, it’s not too late to take advantage of the great discounts offered through this program. We’ve extended the offer of additional rebates of $50 per tree and $5 per shrub until September 18, 2015. Trees and shrubs must be planted in York Region in order to count for the contest.

To qualify for these additional rebates, simply tell us the name of the participating school that you’d like to support when you sign up for our Backyard Tree Planting Program. The school that gets the most trees and shrubs planted between now and September 18 will win a free native tree for their school yard!


Spring 2015 Participating Schools:

All Saints CES (Markham)
Good Shepherd CES (East Gwillimbury)
Holy Name CES (King)
Our Lady of Hope CES (Richmond Hill)
Prince of Peace CES (Georgina)
St. Francis Xavier CES (Markham)
St. Justin Martyr CES (Markham)
St. Monica CES (Markham)
St. Patrick CES (Markham)
St. Peter CES (Vaughan)
St. Veronica CES (Vaughan)

The program will run again in fall 2015 for participating secondary schools from the York Catholic District School Board. Stay tuned for more information!


LEAF’s Youth EAB Ambassador Program is supported by the Government of Ontario and York Region.

Melissa Williams is LEAF’s Program Manager.



Hello James, Thank you for your message. At present time LEAF only has funding to offer our subsidized planting program to residential properties in York Region. Working with churches to spread the word about EAB is definitely a great idea, though -- something we'll certainly look into for the future!
Is the LEAF program for planting discounted trees and shrubs available to churches within York Region for fall 2015? Children from churches could be involved in a program of this kind, and relevant information shared with families within the church, and perhaps the surrounding community.

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