South Nation Conservation (SNC) is helping to plant more than 230,000 native trees and shrubs throughout its watershed jurisdiction this spring.
This will mark the most trees planted by SNC in a year; the previous record dates to 1993 when 193,000 trees were planted by the Conservation Authority, and the average amount of trees typically planted annually by SNC is about 150,000.
Public interest in conserving forest cover, along with people spending more time at home and outdoors during the Pandemic, may have helped contribute to record tree orders.
Tree planting services have been deemed essential and will continue to go ahead as planned this spring with the appropriate health and safety precautions in place.
Tree seedlings are a perishable, agricultural product that need to be planted within a limited season to ensure that the seedlings can survive being lifted from nurseries and planted in their new homes, in idle fields, windrows on farms, along watercourses and within managed forests to maintain a global supply of forest products.
Most of the Authority’s trees will be planted on private properties thanks to subsidies available to property owners to create windbreaks, control erosion, and for small to large reforestation projects. Through these programs, seedlings can be sourced and planted by SNC for as little as $0.25/conifer or $0.55/deciduous tree.
Trees will also be planted on public properties, along County Roads, in Larose Forest in Prescott and Russell, and in public natural spaces such as Conservation Areas.
“We couldn’t be more excited to plant a record-breaking number of native trees this spring to increase local forest cover, and work on behalf of our member municipalities and residents to deliver essential environmental services throughout the Pandemic,” said Caroline Goulet, one of SNC’s Foresters.
This spring, SNC will also be distributing 10,000 free tree seedlings to residents throughout Eastern Ontario thanks to fundraising initiatives and in partnership with member municipalities and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority. Residents who registered for a chance to receive a bundle of free seedlings will be contacted to pick up their trees at a municipal curbside location in May.
SNC’s record-breaking tree planting season comes on the heels of one of the Conservation Authority’s busiest years on record, despite the Pandemic. In 2020, over 140,000 people visited Conservation Areas, and SNC planning staff processed a record number of development files that required environmental reviews to protect people and property from natural hazards and support sustainable development activities.