Greening Strategy achievements enhance our natural environment and create a vital urban forest

The Regional Municipality of York celebrates environmental successes

The Regional Municipality of York Greening Strategy ensures present and future generations will have, and benefit from, a healthy, natural environment.

Since 2001 (refined in 2012), the Greening Strategy has been York Region’s blueprint for environmental action. It encompasses environmental projects, education programs, conservation land securement and leverages funds through key partnerships.

During 2012 alone, 66 hectares of land were rehabilitated throughout York Region. More than 99,000 trees and shrubs were planted and 16 hectares of land valued at $6.3 million were protected through green actions.

“York Regional Council clearly recognizes the environmental, social and health benefits provided by a dynamic urban forest and this is the reason why support of the Greening Strategy is exceptionally strong,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Forests and the tree canopy are vitally important to all aspects of our lives and it impacts everything from lower energy costs to healthy living.”

Green Strategy programs successfully increase forest and tree cover and rehabilitate urban forests or natural areas. These programs include:

 

  • ·        Private land reforestation in partnership with conservation authorities
  • ·         Adopt-a-Stream Crossing Program
  • ·         Biodiversity project planting native prairie grasses on York Regional Forest properties
  • ·         Naturalization of Regional properties
  • ·         Streetscaping planting of 2,552 street trees and shrubs
  • ·         Backyard tree planting program
  • ·         Funding support toward tree costs for community tree planting events

 

“All nine municipalities within York Region directly benefit from the successes achieved through the Greening Strategy,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. “Healthy communities depend on a sustainable, natural environment.”  

The Greening Strategy’s educational components ensure residents of all ages appreciate and respect the benefits provided by the Region’s greenspace.  Last year, 47 guided hikes, 13 public forest events, two seasonal forest festivals and collaboration on 47 partner-led events resulted in more than 8,000 people learning about York Region’s forests.

Over the next four years, York Region Forestry will  investigate new opportunities to further support  Species at Risk and their habitats, a greenlands trail system and agricultural land protection.