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


(April 5, 2016)  LEAF is hosting a contest with participating Catholic elementary schools across the Regional Municipality of York 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. The three top-selling schools will win gift certificates ($500, $300 and $200) that can be used to purchase plant material for their schoolyards.  Homeowners who participate in the Backyard Tree Planting Program can receive additional rebates of $50 per tree and $5 per shrub.

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.


Emerald Ash Borer Adult and Larva


The contest is part of LEAF’s Youth EAB Ambassador Program.  The competing schools will receive in-class workshops this spring that will teach 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 between March 29 and June 3, 2016. When signing up, they can indicate which school they would like to support and will get the additional rebate while quantities last.


Participating Schools:

  • Father Frederick McGinn CES (Richmond Hill)
  • Father Henri Nouwen CES (Richmond Hill)
  • Good Shepherd CES (East Gwillimbury)
  • Holy Name CES (King)
  • Our Lady of Hope CES (Richmond Hill)
  • San Lorenzo Ruiz CES (Markham)
  • St. Cecilia CES (Vaughan)
  • St. Michael The Archangel CES (Vaughan)
  • St. Padre Pio (Vaughan)


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



Janet McKay                                                                                        Melissa Williams

Executive Director                                                                                Program Manager
416-413-9244 x17 (work) 647-883-5777 (cell)                                               416-413-9244 x11 (work) 647-832-5935 (cell)                                                                    



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 and the Government of Ontario.