Media Release

Subsidized “Do-It-Yourself Backyard Tree Planting Program” launched in central and northern York Region


Planting a new tree in York Region

(August 17, 2010  - Markham, ON - For Immediate Release) Today LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) officially launched its Do-It-Yourself Backyard Tree Planting Program ( in central and northern York Region. The program is made possible with the support of the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario Power Generation and the Ontario Power Authority.

“This subsidized program is open to residents of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King Township, Newmarket, and Whitchurch-Stouffville and will offer professional assistance in choosing native trees and shrubs for residential back yards,” said Janet McKay, founder and Executive Director of LEAF.

“After residents complete an online workshop, LEAF will provide advice on what to plant and where, based on the homeowner’s desires and the environmental conditions of their yard. Trees and shrubs that have been ordered can either be picked up at a scheduled community event or delivered, and planted by the homeowner.”

Planting trees in urban settings provides many benefits including reducing smog, providing shade to escape the summer heat, reducing the need for air conditioning and supporting a healthy environment by providing food and shelter for birds and butterflies. In addition, residents can see an increase in their property value as treed neighbourhoods and lots are much more desirable.

“York Region is pleased to have been the catalyst that brought LEAF’s programs to our residents,” said Sandra Malcic, Regional Greening Coordinator, Transportation Services, York Region. “Recognizing the many environmental benefits that urban trees provide, the Backyard Tree Planting Program fulfills an important piece of the York Region’s Greening Strategy – namely helping urban residents reforest their neighbourhoods.”

The Do-It-Yourself Backyard Tree Planting Program is an alternative model that will complement LEAF’s Full Service Backyard Tree Planting Program, which has been offered in southern York Region municipalities (Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill) since 2008.  In the full service model, LEAF staff visit each household to do an in-person consultation.  Through this new, Do-It-Yourself model, LEAF is able to offer education and personalized advice through online videos and interactive tools.  That means residents throughout York Region can take advantage of the program while LEAF minimizes its travel and carbon footprint.  To get details on the program available in your area visit            


Participants can chose smaller trees for pick up and can get their trees on Saturday, September 18th at the East Gwillimbury Farmers Market or on Saturday, September 25th at the Newmarket Farmers Market.  Those who choose to purchase larger trees will have them delivered in spring of 2011.  

 “We are very pleased to work with our partners to bring the benefits of backyard tree planting to all residents of York Region,” concluded McKay. “We’re excited about helping more property owners get the right trees in the right place.”




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