LEAF Celebrates Earth Week Caring for Trees at Wychwood Barns Park
(April 23, 2014, Toronto, ON – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) Yesterday, to welcome spring and celebrate Earth Week LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) volunteers placed mulch around the trees in Wychwood Barns Park, 601 Christie St, Toronto. Woodchip mulch improves the health of the young trees in the park by conserving water, adding organic matter to the soil and suppressing weeds.
The event started with a short ceremony to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the two-year long, $117,200 grant it awarded LEAF in March 2013. Local City Councillor Joe Mihevc was also present and was thanked for his long time support of LEAF.
“This Ontario Trillium Foundation grant will allow LEAF to expand their core programming and awareness campaigns which help facilitate urban forest stewardship” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, MPP St. Paul’s. “Organizations like LEAF, with its Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program, will help Toronto to quickly regrow its tree canopy after the December ice storm which decimated Toronto’s trees. I am proud to have LEAF as a community partner.”
“With the detrimental loss of canopy cover that we experienced during last December’s ice storm, and over 860,000 ash trees in Toronto’s urban areas at risk of infestation and death due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, planting and caring for new trees is more important than ever,” said Janet McKay, Executive Director, LEAF. “Thanks to funding partners like Ontario Trillium Foundation, LEAF is able to work with communities to rebuild the tree canopy through planting, education and training programs.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation supports the improvement of LEAF’s programs across Toronto and York Region and supports efforts to increase the long-term sustainability of the organization. Wychwood Barns Park surrounds the Artscape Wychwood Barns, a re-developed century-old former streetcar repair facility. It is now a thriving community cultural hub where a dynamic mix of arts, culture, food security, urban agriculture, environmental and other community activities and initiatives come together. Local City Councillor, Joe Mihvec, who was instrumental in the development of the site, supports LEAF’s greening efforts in Ward 21 St. Paul’s, and across the city. “We are thrilled to have LEAF’s home base in our neighbourhood”, said Councillor Mihevc. “They are exactly the type of community organization we envisioned being housed at the Barns when we started to work towards redeveloping the site. Their programs are a crucial part of the work we must do as a city to protect and improve our urban forest.”
Healthy urban trees provide preventative health care benefits through shade, filtered air and cleaner waterways. When planted strategically, they also reduce energy costs, increase property value and offer privacy. Trees also provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, supporting our urban ecosystems.
A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. To learn more visit: www.otf.ca
For more information on LEAF or this event, visit www.yourleaf.org.
Photo opportunities and interviews available upon request.
Volunteer &Stewardship Coordinator, LEAF
416-413-9244 x.12 (office) | erin[at]yourleaf.org
Executive Director, LEAF
416-413-9244 x.17 (office) | janet[at]yourleaf.org