Trees play a huge role in the struggle for sustainability. They produce oxygen, prevent soil erosion, help in sequestering carbon, reduce water runoff, help cool our houses, produce food and materials, and reduce our carbon footprint. Forests sequester carbon as they take carbon dioxide from the environment, and through photosynthesis, transform it into biomass. There are programs to encourage people to plant trees, and to support them with financial help and knowledge.
North Dundas is in the South Nation Watershed, and thus under the protection of the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC). Kemptville is in the Rideau Watershed, and as such, under the protection of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA). Each of these Conservation Authorities have a huge amount of information on their websites. I highly encourage you to check them out. Rideau Valley Conservation Authority: rvca.ca. South Nation Conservation Authority: nation.on.ca.
Both SNC and RVCA have programs that help people plant trees, whether you want a couple of trees, or thousands. SNC has helped landowners plant 3 million trees in the last 30 years. This only slows down deforestation a bit. If you have a bit of land and you would like to plant trees, get in touch with the SNC or RVCA. You can plant on as little as a few acres. The program is heavily supported financially, so you can plant trees on your land for very little cost. They help plan and carry out the planting. If you already have trees, they provide a Woodlot Advisory Service. There are tax incentives for managed woodlots, and support both financially and practically for achieving status as a managed woodlot.
The Forests Ontario 50 Million Tree Program was cut by the Ontario government shortly after the 2018 provincial election. The federal government ended up saving the 50 Million Tree Program with $15 million over 4 years. Currently the program is supported by the Federal government, corporate sponsors, and donors. The goal is to make tree planting easier and more affordable for Ontario landowners and municipalities. The 50 Million Tree Program helps plant trees, and in turn helps a landowner increase the value of their land, improve their soil quality, increase wildlife habitat, enhance recreational opportunities, improve the overall health of the local environment, while at the same time leaving a legacy. As of 2020, Forests Ontario has planted over 30 million trees through the program, producing over 16,500 hectares of new forest. check out forestsontario.ca
The Ferguson Forest Centre participates in the Forests Ontario Over the Counter Program for Spring every year. They are sold out for this year, but keep it in mind when you’re planning your planting for next year. The program offers a small discount on some of the bareroot seedlings such as White Spruce, Eastern White Cedar, European Larch, Jack Pine, Red Pine, and Norway Spruce.
There is a “Kemptville Environmental Group” on Facebook. It’s a new group. I am always so excited when another forum for sharing ideas pops up! Even if you’re not in Kemptville, join and share ideas.
“Wise is a person who plants a tree, knowing they will never enjoy its shade.” This sentiment has been attributed to everyone from Socrates to Buddha, to a Roman Poet called Caecillius Statius; a sound sentiment, regardless of who said it first!