CVC inspires a local Green Leader

Guest article from Forest Ontario

Forests Ontario’s newest Green Leader, Ed Barden, retired in 2001 but you’d never guess it while watching him tend to his woodlot. This Hillsburgh resident keeps himself busy by planting, watering and pruning.

Ed considers taking care of trees to be his unofficial full-time job since he retired.  His 33-acre property has undergone large-scale tree plantings through Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP) and CVC’s planting programs.

“If I could pass anything down to my grandkids it would be a love of trees. Being chosen as a Green Leader is really an honour for me,” said Ed

Ed Barden hugging one of his beloved trees. (CNW Group/Forests Ontario)

The Green Leader Program acknowledges individuals who have planted trees under the 50MTP and made a lasting commitment to enhancing forest cover in the province. Ed – whose 2008 planting was part of a pilot project for the 50MTP – was one of the first people to participate in the program. In total, 1,600 trees were planted on his property.

Ed was nominated to be a Green Leader by CVC, planting partners for the project. Planting partners are agents who evaluate the planting site, conduct the plantings, and conduct follow-up assessments.

“Ed’s passion for the land is evident in the time and care he spends planting and tending to his trees,” said Aaron Day, Senior Coordinator, Forest Management at CVC.

Not only does Ed care for his trees, he takes an interest in learning more about his property. Ed attended CVC’s Caring for Your Land and Water workshop in 2015. At that workshop he learned more about his property in the larger context of the local landscape. He got help creating an action plan. Ed then added more trees and shrubs to his property through CVC’s Potted Plants Program. The program offers subsidized planting services with over 30 varieties of native trees and shrubs. Ed’s planting was supported with an additional grant from CVC’s Landowner Action Fund for its contribution to the natural heritage system and enhancing wildlife habitat.

Ed’s property is a nature enthusiast’s paradise with camping spots, a pond to swim in, hiking trails and bird watching spots. His trees serve an even bigger purpose. “Ed’s trees help to clean the air and water, provide habitat for wildlife and help to slow climate change,” explains Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Truly, he is making Ontario a cleaner and greener place to live.”

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