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Ontario Stewardship and Trees Ontario partner in student ranger program

Monday, May 5th 2008 10:18:36am

Youth Helping to Fight Climate Change

Ontario Stewardship and Trees Ontario partner in student ranger program to restore and protect natural areas across southern Ontario


Southern Ontario – May 5, 2008 –  The Ministry of Natural Resources Ontario Stewardship Youth Rangers are once again helping to fight the effects of climate change through their work in forested areas in Ontario, with funding support from Trees Ontario.

Trees Ontario, a not-for-profit tree planting organization, is providing $120,000 to fund four youth ranger teams, as part of the 2008 Ontario Stewardship ranger program. The teams will undertake a variety of forestry-related projects including assessing tree planting sites and maintaining tree seed orchards.

“Trees Ontario’s goal is to increase the forested landscape across Ontario and to promote sustainable forest management,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. “Employing local youth is a valuable developmental opportunity for them that also helps us achieve our goals. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.”

“We are excited to be able to provide employment opportunities to an additional 20 participants through this partnership,” said Sandy White, Manager of Youth Programs for the ministry.  “These youth will potentially be our future environmental leaders.”

Funded by the MNR, the Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program provides 17-year-olds with an opportunity to work for eight weeks with local conservation groups, focusing on community-based environmental projects.  

This year there will be 34 teams across the province, each made up of four rangers plus a team leader.  Participants live at home and travel to their work locations daily.  These teams operate primarily through the Ontario Stewardship network of community councils.

The MNR’s Ontario Stewardship Program is a community-based initiative that brings together landowners, associations, resource agencies and individuals who share an interest in responsible land care and sustainable resource use. The program advocates stewardship as a tool for land management.

“These Rangers play a huge role in effectively forming partnerships with landowners, not for profit organizations and associations with environmental interests,” said Mitch Baldwin, Provincial Stewardship Coordinator.  “The work these teams will do to support forested areas in Ontario likely would not get done without their support.  Trees Ontario has made an investment in future environmental stewards.”

This partnership will support the increase of forested areas in Ontario, and ensure the quality of our air and water resources. Increasing the number of trees planted reduces the impacts of climate change, helps control erosion and flooding, and improves air and water quality. Overall tree planting and sustainable management will enhance the health and integrity of the environment for future generations.

For more information on Trees Ontario visit www.treesontario.on.ca.

For details on youth employment opportunities with the MNR visit www.ontario.ca/mnryouthprograms.

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Media Contacts:

Elissa Schmidt
Manager of Communications
Trees Ontario
416.646.1193 ext. 232

Jenn Standaert
Communications Officer
Ministry of Natural Resources
(705) 755-3138

Trees Ontario

Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest, not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities. Trees Ontario is also partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to help deliver the Ontario government’s commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2020.

The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province’s tree planting capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils, municipal governments and community volunteer groups.  

Last spring Trees Ontario, with its partners, planted nearly 3 million trees. Its goal is to increase tree planting to 10 million trees every year by 2015. Visit the Trees Ontario website at www.treesontario.on.ca. Planting tomorrow’s forests.

50 Million Tree Program

In August 2007, the Ontario government introduced a program to fund the planting of 50 million trees across the province by 2020, as part of its commitment to help fight climate change and green the province.

The 50 Million Tree Program is Ontario’s commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign. 50 Million Trees is also the most ambitious program of its kind in North America and the largest goal of any jurisdiction, anywhere.

All kinds of good can come from setting this goal: like offsetting carbon; diversifying Ontario’s landscape; moderating local climates by providing shade, moderating temperature extremes and reducing the effects of storms; creating more habitats for
wildlife; improving soil and water conservation; and boosting local economic opportunities – to name just a few.

Working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and its tree-planting partners, Trees Ontario will plant two million trees over the next year.

The 50 Million Tree Program can significantly cut landowners’ costs of large-scale tree planting and boost the number of trees planted.