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Conservation Authorities, municipalities giving away free trees this spring

An “unbeleafable” municipal and Conservation Authority commitment to improve regional forest cover and spruce up local landscapes will see both the South Nation (SNC) and Raisin Region (RRCA) Conservation Authorities partner with municipalities from across their watershed jurisdictions to safely distribute over 10,000 free trees to residents through Community Free Tree Giveaways this spring.

Residents can visit their Conservation Authority’s websites or social media accounts to register for their chance to receive a bundle of 5 or 10 tree seedlings per household, which can be safely picked up at curbside locations in each municipality in early May.

A variety of native species are available while supplies last, including White spruce, Red pine, Norway spruce, Silver maple, Hackberry, Black walnut, Red oak, Red osier dogwood, Alternate leaf dogwood, Elderberry, Nannyberry, Highbush cranberry, and Fragrant sumac.

Last spring over 17,500 free trees were distributed to residents by SNC and RRCA through Community Free Tree Giveaways to help put more trees in the ground and foster landowner environmental stewardship.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with our member municipalities and our neighbours at the RRCA to bring back Community Free Tree Giveaways in 2021 to encourage more tree planting and stewardship of our local forests,” says John Mesman, SNC’s Communications Lead.

“This year marks the RRCA’s 22nd Annual Tree Giveaway and 2nd year the RRCA has partnered with SNC as a joint forest conservation effort in Eastern Ontario. We look forward to seeing residents at their tree pickup location in May,” says Lisa Van De Ligt, RRCA’s Team Lead, Communications and Stewardship.

In 2018, SNC published a report on “Protecting and Increasing Forest Cover in the South Nation Conservation Jurisdiction” following two years of review and consultation with local stakeholder working groups, including an Agriculture-based Committee. SNC’s Forest Conservation Initiative was formed to carry out recommendations from the report which includes annual Community Free Tree Giveaways.

SNC is on track to plant a record-breaking 200,000 trees this spring while the RRCA will be planting 60,000.

Residents are reminded that completing the online form does not guarantee free trees as limited amounts are available per municipality and they will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Residents are also encouraged to follow SNC and RRCA on social media for updates on tree giveaways or visit their websites at www.nation.on.ca or www.rrca.on.ca.

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