(June 25, 2015, Toronto, ON - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) The Great Toronto Tree Hunt, which launched on Earth Day 2015, culminated last evening with a public awards ceremony. One winner in each of the five nomination categories was announced and awarded a framed copy of their photograph along with a $250 cash prize.
The contest was led by LEAF, in partnership with lead sponsor TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), along with Ontario Power Generation, and the City of Toronto. There were 390 entries in total. Ten finalists were selected in each category - five through public voting and five by LEAF. The winner of each category was then selected by a panel of judges with expertise in trees, photography and journalism.
Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD FEF presented the award for Beauty. “From spring blossoms to fall colours and winter silhouettes, these photographs demonstrated the diverse beauty of trees across our city. Our urban forest is truly stunning", said Desjardins. She also presented the award for Uniqueness noting, “These submissions included touching stories that show the unique ways that trees improve our lives.”
Ann Ulusoy, Director, Management Services Branch, Parks Forestry and Recreation, City of Toronto presented the award in the Survivor category. “Urban trees withstand a myriad of urban stresses,” said Ulusoy. “They endure pressure from development, attacks from pests and disease and increasingly violent storms. The submissions in this category demonstrated the resilience of Toronto’s urban forest and the love and appreciation we have for its gifts.”
Kendra Flagler, Vice-President, Environment, Ontario Power Generation presented the award for Size noting, “The contest uncovered 24 giants living in every corner of the city.” The winner, a silver maple growing near Royal York Rd and Lakeshore Ave, measured over 6 metres in circumference. Flagler also presented the award for Heritage Potential. “Heritage trees are notable specimens that have historic or cultural value. Some of the finalists chosen in this category will be further investigated in hopes of gaining formal heritage recognition.”
“Camperdown Elm” submitted by Jeff McMann (Mount Pleasant Group)
“Dawn Redwood in Edwards Gardens” submitted by Jason Ramsay-Brown
“1850s Tolman sweet apple” submitted by Chris Nolan
“Titan” submitted by Eric Vanderwal
“1st Remembrance Day” submitted by Bonita Nelson
To see all of the entries, including the ten finalists in each category, visit yourleaf.org/treehunt.
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Janet McKay Melissa Williams
Executive Director, LEAF Program Manager, LEAF
416-413-9244 x17 (work) 416-413-9244 x11 (work)
LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. We engage citizens in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training.