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City could soon see more shade

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa’s community services committee has voted in favour of seeking co-funding from other municipalities for a subsidized tree-planting program.

The program will see the city and its partners enter into an agreement with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) to begin a subsidized public outreach and private property tree-planting program.

Other municipalities involved would include the Region of Durham, as well as the municipalities of Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, and Scugog.

The program will allow Oshawa residents to add more trees to their property at a discounted rate.

The goal for the first year of the program is to plant 40 trees for each municipality involved.

Overall, the project is expected to cost the city $15,000, broken into $13,200 for the direct cost of trees at $330 a piece, and $1,800 for LEAF to communicate the program to residents.

This will include social media posts and attendance at events.

The city’s contribution will be funded through the annual operating budget, including the $330 subsidy for each tree.

In a report to the committee, staff recommended reviewing the pilot after the first year and reporting back with a summary of the results.

Staff and council will then consider if it will be included in the 2021 budget under another five-year agreement.

The committee has also recommended the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation be asked to provide a rebate for homeowners who participate.

The matter will now head to council for final approval.