November 30, 2021 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON – This year, Toronto Community Housing (TCH) properties received 205 native shrubs and 99 native trees through the TCH Planting and Stewardship Initiative.
This program is offered by TCH (Toronto Community Housing), in partnership with local non-profit LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) and the City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch. Funded in part by a City of Toronto Community Planting and Stewardship Grant, the program aims to increase tree canopy in TCH communities.
This 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 to support innovative urban greening and tree planting projects in underserved communities.
This tenant-driven initiative works to engage residents in the planning and implementation of plantings and connect them with the necessary tools to green their communities. Earlier this year, TCH tenants were involved in the development of planting plans for each site, where planting locations were carefully selected and native species were chosen to enhance biodiversity.
“We are very proud to continue to collaborate with tenants and staff on the planting and care of native trees and shrubs on TCH properties,” says Brian Millward, Acting Community Programs Manager. “Their involvement in all aspects of the program is crucial to the success and survival of the newly planted trees and shrubs. Witnessing their commitment to growing the urban forest in their respective communities for future generations is inspiring.”
This summer, LEAF staff delivered over 200 shrubs to tenants from 12 TCH properties across the Greater Toronto Area. Equipped with LEAF training on proper planting and care techniques, TCH tenants then organized planting on the properties – in garden beds alongside buildings and in or along the fence lines of community gardens.
This fall, City of Toronto Urban Forestry provided in-kind planting services to plant nearly 100 trees across 17 TCH properties. A total of 10 different native tree species were planted through the initiative, including bur oak, sugar maple and honey locust.
"Green spaces play a critical role in creating more vibrant and livable cities. Not only do they provide environmental benefits, but they also provide social, health and economic benefits to cities and the people within them," said Carolyn Scotchmer, Executive Director of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "We are proud to work with the Arbor Day Foundation to support innovative community programs 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 are 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.”
TD provides funding for the grants, which are awarded annually for tree planting, maintenance costs and educational activities. The program is administered by the Arbor Day Foundation. TD Green Space Grants are made possible as part of the TD Ready Commitment, TD's global corporate citizenship platform, aimed at opening doors to a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
For more information on the TCH Planting and Stewardship Initiative, visit: yourleaf.org/tch-planting-and-stewardship-initiative.
For more information about the TD Green Space Grant, visit: arborday.org/programs/tdgreenspacegrants.
Meandra Provencal, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, LEAF
Toronto Community Housing (TCH) is Canada's largest social housing provider. TCH is owned by the City of Toronto and provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in 106 of the city’s 144 neighbourhoods. Their 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.
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. LEAF plays the lead role in the planting, stewardship and education activities.
The City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch provides the critical services needed to protect, maintain and enhance the urban forest. With funding for this project provided in part through a Community Planting & Stewardship Grant, the City of Toronto is investing in tree planting and stewardship on private land to help grow the urban forest. Additional support provided includes the supply and installation of large caliper trees.
The Arbor Day Foundation: Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Their vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.
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 TD Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $750 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 TD Ready Commitment, the bank 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.