By CVC’s Kimberley Holt-Behrend

On a beautiful September morning, 45 volunteers celebrated National Tree Day (Sept 24) helping Forests Ontario, Michael’s Hair Body Mind Spa and Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) plant trees at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area.

December’s ice storm downed hundreds of trees and the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation impacted most of the conservation area’s ash trees. Dead and infested trees are being removed from the marsh to protect park visitors from trees that will eventually fail.

Last April, Michael’s Hair Body Mind Spa, with support from Forests Ontario, launched a fundraising campaign to help Mississauga communities bounce back from the ice storm. Donations went towards planting large native oak, maple and black cherry trees.

Volunteers take a break from tree planting to pose in front of the event banner (generously funded by Forests Ontario).

Volunteers take a break from tree planting to pose in front of the event banner (generously funded by Forests Ontario).

The team worked tirelessly digging, planting and applying mulch to the young trees. In less than an hour, the team planted over 110 trees. That’s about two trees planted every minute!

There was a feeling of excitement and teamwork in the air. Local reporters and CTV reporter Anwar Knight were onsite to raise awareness about the restoration work. Anwar explained the destruction caused by EAB, how trees are being managed by CVC and what the community is doing to help restore the vulnerable area.

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CTV reporter Anwar Knight with volunteers, Forests Ontario and CVC’s restoration crew.

Forests Ontario and local volunteers are vital to the success of CVC’s conservation projects. Tree planting is an opportunity to get involved and help our natural spaces recover from EAB and the ice storm. CVC, with support from community volunteers, have planted over six million trees since 1954. With our shared dedication, the number of trees planted keeps growing.

The day’s success was another step closer to recovering the marsh. Volunteers can help Forests Ontario reach its campaign goal of planting 50 million trees in Ontario by 2025. This program is in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ 50 Million Tree Program, which is itself part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

Learn more about Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program.

View event coverage on CTV Toronto.

CVC and the Rattray Marsh Protection Association are hosting a Public Information Session on Nov. 19 about current restoration work and ash tree management at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. For more information, vist: http://www.creditvalleyca.ca/event/rattray-marsh-public-information-session-2/.

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