Students compete to get new trees and shrubs planted in York Region backyards


(May 12, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)  LEAF is hosting a contest with participating Catholic elementary schools across York Region to get new trees and shrubs planted in residential neighbourhoods.  Schools are competing to see how many trees and shrubs they can get planted by friends, family and neighbours through LEAF’s subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program. Additional rebates of $50 per tree and $5 per shrub are being offered to homeowners who participate in the program.  The three top-selling schools will win gift certificates ($1000, $500 and $250) that can be used to purchase plant material for their schoolyards.


Tree planting has never been more important in York Region as hundreds of thousands of ash trees are dying due to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  EAB is an invasive insect that attacks and kills all North American species of ash if left untreated.


The contest is part of LEAF’s Youth EAB Ambassador Program.  The competing schools received in-class workshops this spring that taught students the importance of the urban forest, its connection to Great Lakes water quality and the threat posed by EAB.


Residents can support their local participating school by purchasing trees and shrubs for their yards through LEAF’s program by June 5, 2015. When signing up, they can indicate which school they would like to support and will get the additional rebate while quantities last.


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)


Interviews available upon request.  Visit /youth-eab-ambassador-program for more information on the program.


Janet McKay
Executive Director, LEAF
416-413-9244 x17 (Office)
Melissa Williams
Residential Planting Program Manager, LEAF
416-413-9244 x11 (Office)


LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest and engages citizens in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. LEAF’s Youth EAB Ambassador Program is supported by The Regional Municipality of York, the Government of Ontario and Ontario Power Generation. OPG has planted more than 6 million trees and shrubs since 2000 and supports family-focused biodiversity events. Learn more at