The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) has wrapped up another tree planting season, planting 50,000 trees across its 1,680 square-kilometre jurisdiction in eastern Ontario.  The RRCA is now booking site visits with landowners looking to reforest idle land or retired farm fields in 2020.

“In 2019, we partnered with municipalities, businesses, community groups, local schools, and private landowners to increase forest cover in the region.  We also hosted our 20th Earth Day Tree Giveaway, which has given away over 40,000 trees to the community to date,” says Lisa Van De Ligt, RRCA Communications Specialist.

Forests provide many important ecological, economic, social, and cultural benefits; they filter the air we breathe, clean the water we drink, and provide resiliency to natural disasters such as flooding.

Through the RRCA’s Forestry Services, landowners with over 1 ha (2.5 acres) of idle land can plant trees at a reduced fee.  “Landowners can meet with our staff for a free consultation.  We are a one-stop shop for tree planting services; we will prepare a custom site plan to ensure the best seedling survival, prepare the site, order and plant trees, and conduct follow-up assessments,” adds Van De Ligt.

Many landowners return year after year to benefit from the subsidies offered under the RRCA’s Forestry Services.  Mike MacGillivray from Kirkview Farms in North Glengarry recognizes the added value of forests on his 196-acre farm consisting of 58 forested acres used for firewood, wild edibles, and maple syrup.  “My goal is to plant 10,000 trees over the next 5 years.  I’ve planted 5,850 trees to date with the RRCA and greatly benefited from their tree planting support,” says MacGillivray.

MacGillivray also plans to enroll in the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Canada program, a community-developed and farmer-delivered program helping farmers plant windbreaks and riparian buffers among other ecosystem services.  The Program also provides a per-acre annual payment to the farmers for the management and maintenance of the projects.

The RRCA also offers over-the-counter tree sales for smaller projects.  Contact the RRCA at [email protected] or (613) 938-3611 today to book your free site visit and to learn more about the ALUS funding program!