As part of its Climate Change, Clean Air, and Sustainable Energy Action Plan, the City of Toronto is in the process of doubling its tree canopy from 17% to 34%. One of the ways this is being accomplished is through the Trees Across Toronto planting event that takes place every year on the last Saturday in April. Thousands of volunteers show up at a variety of parks to plant tens of thousands of trees. Since the beginning of the program, over 400,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted!
So, why is this important?
- One mature tree can produce about two thirds of the oxygen that a typical person consumes in one year.
- Trees provide habitat, food, and shelter for birds, insects, and other wildlife, and they help prevent soil erosion.
- An acre of trees sequesters about two and a half tons of carbon every year. You won't find cheaper storage space anywhere else in the city!
- Extensive tree cover helps to mitigate the heat island effect that causes cities to be five to nine degrees (C) warmer than the surrounding areas.
- Trees are pretty! Living in the city, surrounded by asphalt, steel, glass, and other harsh features of the urban landscape, it can be quite relaxing to spend time among trees. Plus they provide protection from the sun's UV rays.
If you'd like to get involved, here's what you need to know:
Date: Saturday, April 30th, 2011
Time: 10:00 am until all of the trees have been planted!
Location: Milliken Park, Colonel Sam Smith Park, and McCowan District Park.
Good to know: Snacks, drinks, and a BBQ lunch await you on site!
Have you ever planted a tree? Are there other benefits related to trees that I missed in my list?
[If you don't live in Toronto and there are tree planting events happening in your neighbourhood, please share the info in the comments below.]