Community leaders from across Toronto gathered on January 17th with Mayor John Tory, City Councillors and Staff to celebrate Every Tree Counts and our progress in growing Toronto's tree cover to 40%. Every Tree Counts facilitated grants stimulate community engagement in tree planting and stewardship efforts, bringing people together to collaborate and share resources.
The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation developed the Every Tree Counts granting streams to engage diverse communities and new constituents, encourage cross-sector collaborations, and support capacity-building, so that more Toronto residents can actively participate in urban tree planting and tree care. City Council initiated this first year of grants as part of the Toronto Tree Planting Strategy with $1M in new funding. Every Tree Counts helps put more trees in our yards, more trees in our communities, and more trees in our city.
One of the key funding streams under the Every Tree Counts banner is Making Trees Count. This granting stream supports inclusive, community-driven tree planting and stewardship projects. Eligible organizations are encouraged to imagine tree planting and tree care initiatives that will have a sustainable impact on Toronto’s tree canopy and provide meaningful engagement opportunities for residents across the City. For the first round in Fall 2017, application requests totalled nearly $1.4 million, and the Foundation is pleased to have awarded $380,000 in project grants to the following organizations:
Highway of Heroes Living Tribute (a partnership between Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign and Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation)
This project will see tree planting along the Highway Of Heroes within the boundaries of the City of Toronto in support of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign to plant a tree for each Canadian Soldier lost at war.
Toronto Community Housing Planting and Stewardship Initiative (a partnership with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and Toronto Park People Projects)
This project will engage local leaders and residents from various communities in the planting and stewardship of native trees and shrubs on Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) properties.
Young Urban Forest Leaders Program (YUFL) (a partnership with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and Toronto Park People Projects)
This project focuses on recruiting young women, who are underrepresented in the urban forest industry. Teams of Young Urban Forest Leaders will collaborate with community groups to kick start Adopt-a-Tree programs and distribute trees and shrubs to local residents for private land planting.
Edible Gardens Program (Agincourt Community Services Association)
This project will offer residents opportunities to learn about tree stewardship and gardening through workshops and other active knowledge sharing within communities. The program will increase the tree canopy while building community capacity, engaging local leaders, and increasing access to culturally-appropriate fresh food for residents.
Urban Trees From Seed (Green Thumbs Growing Kids)
This project will develop partnerships with schools to grow native trees from seed on school grounds in connection with the elementary science curriculum. The project will encourage knowledge sharing, awareness of tree care practices and awareness of the importance of native trees to indigenous people and cultures. Seedlings will be disseminated back into the community or to school grounds.
Shajarat (“trees”) (a partnership between The Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT) and the Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER))
The project will connect with faith-based networks across Toronto with a focus on communities with less than 30% tree cover. ACCT will support inclusive community planting and celebratory events, with trees/shrubs and expertise provided by ACER to train volunteer stewards on planting, maintenance, monitoring, and reporting.
The Family Tree (Glen Park Public School)
This project will engage the Glen Park PS community to become interested in, and engaged and knowledgeable about, tree stewardship through hands-on planting and workshops on school grounds. Students will also learn about the health benefits of trees and the connection and importance of trees in indigenous cultures.
Increasing Community Engagement with the Natural Environment through Forest Restoration and Conservation at Black Creek Community Farm (Black Creek Community Farm with trustee support from FoodShare)
This project will continue to support converting a rare piece of urban conservation land into a Farm Park to engage the local community. The funding will provide much needed educational materials, site stewardship, workshops and volunteer opportunities, laying the foundation for increased socio-environmental awareness.
A big congratulations to the 2017 Making Trees Count grant recipients! We’re so excited to watch these projects unfold in 2018. Stay tuned for details on the next granting round starting in Spring 2018!
Also, please visit www.treeforme.ca/grants to learn more about our Tree For Me facilitated grants that make it easy for Toronto residents to get no-cost native trees for their backyards!