(Nov. 4, 2019 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), the City of Toronto, Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and Park People marked another milestone today in their partnership to increase tree coverage on TCHC properties.
The TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative team gathered at 1615 Dundas St. E. to celebrate their 2019 plantings. The group aims to increase urban forest canopy cover and achieve environmental and quality of life benefits for TCHC tenants.
“This project is an excellent example of multiple partners working together to reach our goal of 40 per cent canopy cover,” said Toronto-Danforth Councillor and TCHC board member Paula Fletcher. “I’m thrilled to welcome everyone here today to celebrate this innovative project.”
This year, about 75 native trees will be planted at eight different properties in Toronto’s east end, including the Scarborough area. Planting plans are devised with the help of TCHC staff and tenants at each site. Planting locations are carefully selected and a variety of species ensure that diversity is a priority. At the 1615 Dundas St. E. site, eight different species were planted. These include American elm, basswood, bur oak, Freeman maple, Kentucky coffee tree, silver maple, sugar maple and serviceberry.
“We are thrilled to continue working with our partners and tenants to replace trees lost to pests and ice storms,” said Cutty Duncan, TCHC Manager of Capital Engagement and Conservation Program (CECP). “Increasing the canopy is an important way to offer tangible community benefits like shade and improved air quality.”
The project is also supported by the City of Toronto Forestry Department. “Our goal is not only to increase canopy cover, but also to ensure species diversity and equitable distribution across the city,” said Amory Ngan, Project Manager, Urban Forestry. “This unique partnership allows us to achieve those goals.”
The City provided the trees as well as a grant through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. That funding was matched by a TD Green Space Grant from TD Bank Group (TD) and the Arbor Day Foundation. LEAF was one of 20 U.S. and Canadian organizations selected to receive a grant in order to support innovative urban greening and tree planting projects in underserved areas of the community.
“Green spaces play a critical role in creating more livable cities. Not only do they provide environmental benefits, but they also provide social services and economic benefits to cities and the people within them,” said Andrea Barrack, Global Head of Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD. “That’s why we are working with the Arbor Day Foundation to support innovative community programs in cities including Toronto that are striving to create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.”
“Our goal with this grant program is to help communities not only enrich their green spaces but also enrich lives,” said Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation. “We’re supporting LEAF in an effort to build awareness about the benefits of trees, educate residents on proper tree care and lay the groundwork for a greener future.”
Tree stewardship plans will be developed and supported by LEAF and Park People, working in partnership with TCHC staff and tenants. “We appreciate the support of TCHC tenants and staff with this project,” said Erin MacDonald, Community Programs Manager at LEAF. “Diligent watering and replacing of mulch in the first few years after planting will ensure that the investments made in planting now, pay off in ecological benefits later!”
Plans are in the works for more planting in 2020!
LEAF: Janet McKay, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org | 416-413-9244
City of Toronto Forestry: Amory Ngan, Project Manager, email@example.com | 416-392-4401
TCHC: Daniele Gauvin, Senior Communications Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org | 416-737-1352
Park People: Minaz Asani-Kanji, Manager of Outreach, Park People, email@example.com | 647-991-2921
ABOUT THE IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS:
LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Beginning in 1996, LEAF has been designing and delivering successful planting and stewardship programs, as well as education and training programs across the City of Toronto. www.yourleaf.org
Park People supports and mobilizes people to help them activate the power of parks to improve quality of life in cities across Canada. With over seven years of experience and network building in Toronto and four years in underserved communities through the Sparking Change Program, Park People creates change by inspiring leaders, reducing social isolation and building inclusive communities. Park People brings experience working in partnership with TCHC to engage tenants in the parks and greenspaces in their neighbourhoods. Their work in TCHC and other Neighbourhood Improvement Area (NIA) communities informs the work on this project. www.parkpeople.ca
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is Canada's largest social housing provider. Toronto Community Housing provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. Toronto Community Housing is wholly owned by the City of Toronto and its 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset. www.torontohousing.ca)
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
About TD Global Corporate Citizenship: TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.