With over 40,000 tree and shrub seedlings being planted throughout local watersheds in the 2017 Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) tree planting season, the GRCA is encouraging landowners to think about tree planting for 2018 this winter.
Trees add to the watersheds ecosystems by increasing connectivity and providing for wildlife habitat, but also increase the beauty and timber potential of the area. Seedlings will eventually grow to be large trees that will provide many benefits to the environment and your property:
- Consider establishing a windbreak to help reduce home heating costs, or shade trees to reduce home cooling costs.
- Consider large scale reforestation on marginal land to increase wildlife habitat, or provide future additional income through timber management or other forest resources.
- Help increase forest connectivity by planting in areas that will increase the size of existing forest or woodlots.
- Enhance stream banks and river valleys by planting species that stabilize stream banks and increase stream shading.
There are options when considering tree planting – purchase tree seedlings through the GRCA (a minimum of 25) to plant at your leisure, or have tree seedlings planted for you by the GRCA (minimum of 500).
Funding is available to assist in the purchase and/or planting of seedlings. The Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Funding is available on purchases of 500 seedlings or more at a rate of up to 50% of the project cost, prior to taxes, to a cap of $2,500.00. Additional funding is also available to those landowners who plant more than 1 hectare or 2.5 acres of land.
Also, the GRCA has partnered with the Municipality of Clarington and the Municipality of Port Hope again for 2018 to provide trees for free to residents who want to plant trees along the rural road side on their property. The goal of the Trees for Rural Roads Program is to restore the trees that line rural roads, an initiative that was started in the 1870s across the Province.
If you want to avoid winter this year, consider planning for a spring 2018 tree plant project with help from your local conservation authority! If you’re interested in the GRCA planting program, the deadline is January 19th; if you’d rather plant your own trees, all over-the-counter orders must be received by March 2nd, 2018.