The City of Winnipeg has been awarded a $20,000 grant from Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation to fund the Winnipeg ReLeaf program in 2016. In partnership with Trees Winnipeg, a local non-profit organization, the Winnipeg ReLeaf Program will encourage homeowners to replant trees lost to Dutch elm disease (DED) and provide them with training on the “Right Tree Right Place” approach and correct planting techniques to help ensure the survivorship of the newly planted trees.
“Eighty percent of Winnipeg tree losses due to Dutch elm disease occur on private property," said City of Winnipeg Acting Deputy Mayor Janice Lukes. “The Winnipeg ReLeaf program will help property owners replace many of these trees and create awareness about the importance of tree species diversity to the health of Winnipeg’s urban forest.”
This year, up to 700 property owners can participate in the Winnipeg ReLeaf program to receive a tree replacement package at a subsidized cost of $55, a workshop, technical support and follow-up after planting. The Winnipeg ReLeaf program is available to all residential homeowners in Winnipeg.
"TD Friends of the Environment Foundation congratulates all of our grant recipients for driving innovation to build a greener future for their communities," said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "We're proud to support the protection and preservation of our urban forests by promoting community involvement and enhancing resources for advancement in environmental practices."
Last year more than 6,500 American elms were marked for removal by the City of Winnipeg due to Dutch elm disease. Most of those trees were on private property. The City supports replanting efforts on public property but the number being replaced on private property is estimated to be very low to almost non-existent. The Winnipeg ReLeaf Program will encourage replacement of these trees and help maintain the city’s urban forest canopy.
"Growing the tree canopy in urban centres is vital for the health of Canadian communities and all the people who live in them," said Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. "The TD Green Streets program has helped build thriving urban forests in hundreds of Canadian communities, so I would again like to thank TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for its tremendous support and generosity over the years."
Registration for the Winnipeg ReLeaf program will take place over the summer online at www.savetheelms.mb.ca/projects/reLeaf.php. Registered participants will be able to choose from four different tree packages. The workshops and tree distribution will take place in September.