OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2021 – The nation’s capital is now two million trees richer thanks to the City of Ottawa, local conservation authorities and rural landowners.
The City of Ottawa’s Green Acres Reforestation Program hit its two-million milestone this spring.
The program is a partnership between the City and its three local conservation authorities: Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority in the west, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in central and south Ottawa and South Nation Conservation Authority in the east.
On Friday, Oct. 22 Mayor Jim Watson joined environment committee chair Coun. Scott Moffatt and other dignitaries to dedicate a white spruce at RVCA headquarters in honour of the milestone.
“Planting trees is one of the best ways to mitigate climate change and to protect our communities against extreme weather like floods,” said RVCA forestry manager Ian Cochrane. “We are incredibly thankful to the City and its rural landowners for their commitment to this program.”
The program generates huge benefits for the entire region. Along with creating the oxygen we need to breathe, trees also capture carbon, clean the air, create habitat and help reduce the impacts of floods, droughts and erosion.
The City provides annual base funding so the conservation authorities can work with willing landowners to create custom planting plans, order the seedlings and complete the planting each spring.
Landowners commit to reforesting at least 1.25 acres with a minimum of 1,000 trees. Conservation authority staff maintain the new trees for five years to maximize survival rates.
Green Acres has planted an average of 92,500 trees each year, with a target of 75,000 trees planted annually, primarily in the city’s four rural wards.
The top Ottawa wards for tree planting include:
- West Carleton-March (922,062 trees to date)
- Rideau-Goulbourn (569,536 trees to date)
- Cumberland (249,014 trees to date)
- Osgoode (220,110 trees to date)
- Plus 73,950 across the remaining Ottawa wards
While the 2022 program is already full, residents interested in reforesting their land are encouraged to visit ottawa.ca for more information or to contact their local conservation authority.
“Forest growth and conservation has never been more vital. The work done through the Green Acres program by the City and its partners will play a huge role in combatting climate change and maintaining the beauty of our rural areas for generations to come.”
-Mayor Jim Watson
“The fact that the program is completely full until 2023 is a huge testament to our residents’ dedication to re-building Ottawa’s rural forests. I encourage all residents with empty land to consider applying for the Green Acres program and help us continue building on this milestone.”
-Councillor Scott Moffatt, Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management