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Plant trees to combat climate change

The Region of Durham is encouraging residents to put down some roots.

Due to the overwhelming success of the 2020/2021 tree planting program, the region will be continuing to support the LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) Backyard Tree Planting Program this year.

Residents, multi-unit and commercial property owners in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, and Scugog are encouraged to participate.

LEAF will continue to provide support to restore and improve properties by planting native trees and shrubs.

Regional Chair John Henry says the planting of native trees across Durham has many environmental, health and wellness benefits, including mitigating climate change.

“When we invest in a tree and green space, we invest in our quality of life,” he says.

“Continuing to take action today, will greatly benefit our community in the future,” adds Henry.

The region says LEAF is committed to “protecting and improving our urban forests through planting, education, and stewardship.”

Through the full-service program, property owners receive a consultation with a certified arborist, a 1.5-2.4-metre tall tree and full planting service for between $150 and $220 per tree.

Erin MacDonald, active executive director of LEAF, says trees provide a multitude of benefits to individual property owners and the wider community by providing shade and privacy, help manage storm water, improve air quality and contribute to wildlife habitat.

“We are excited to continue to work with Durham residents to plant the right tree in the right place,” says MacDonald. “Working together to protect and enhance the urban forest today will continue to benefit our communities in the future.”

The program is subsidized by the region and participating municipalities, which makes it possible to offer the low prices.

COVID-19 health guidelines will be followed during arborist consultations.

To apply to the Backyard Tree Planting Program, visit the LEAF website or call 416-413-9244.