A funding announcement yesterday offered reprieve for the trees. Forests Ontario is getting $15 million from the Federal government, to keep the 50 Million Tree program going. The provincial government cancelled the program in April.

Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen says the dollars don’t cover the entire budget, but it does keep the ball rolling. He says it allows Forests Ontario to utilize the stock in the ground and enhance the program overall.  

Around 2.5 million seedlings at the Ferguson Forest Centre are earmarked for the program.   

Keen says 50 million trees barely scratches the surface. He says Southern Ontario is sitting at 26% forest cover, but should have 40% to maintain sustainable and healthy ecosystems.

Keen noted at least one billion trees need to be planted to reach that ecology goal.

He says Forests Ontario has to look beyond planting 50 million trees by 2025.  

Forests Ontario is actively seeking corporate sponsorships and other revenue streams to grow the program. Keen says if every Ontarian donated $1, the organization could plant trees for the next 3 years and if everyone pitched in $2, Forests Ontario could plant for the next six years.

He says it’s not a huge investment for folks to ensure we have healthy forests for our future.

For more information about the program, or to contribute, click here.