Friday, 18 November 2011 11:41

Alberta government partners with Tree Canada to restore landscapes and shelter belts

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By Susan Quinlan
Alberta
To assist Albertans who have lost trees to the mountain pine beetle, Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) has partnered with Tree Canada.
Through the ReLeaf program, Tree Canada is offering homeowners, private landowners and municipalities the opportunity to replace lost vegetation at a reduced cost.


In a press release, former SRD Minister Mel Knight said the goal of the ReLeaf program was to help restore and revitalize areas Albertans care about.

“This is the second year of the ReLeaf program.

It was a huge success last year and it’ll likely run until funding is no longer available,” explained Jag Sandu, SRD public affairs officer.

Sandu explained ReLeaf would provide homeowners with $80 toward a replacement tree while landowners could receive up to $3,000 worth of seedlings or potted trees. Municipalities are eligible for up to $5,000 worth of seedlings or potted trees.

In each case, Sandu said photographs of the trees destroyed by the mountain pine beetle must accompany the application to the ReLeaf program.

“Describe the extent of the damage and include a photo and any site preparation required.”

Last year, ReLeaf provided support to 34 homeowners, 35 acreage owners and one municipality, said Sandu.

The deadline to apply to the ReLeaf program is Dec. 31. The application can be found online at:  http://www.treecanada.ca. Search for Alberta Pine Beetle Program once you’re at the Tree Canada website.

This year, $100,000 has been contributed to the ReLeaf program of which the Government of Alberta provided $60,000.

TELUS and Strive Energy donated $30,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Others interested in donating to the program are encouraged to do so at: http://www.treecanada.ca.

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization that works with sponsors, donors and communities to plant and care for rural and urban trees, promotes urban forests in Canada and facilitates carbon-offset projects with trees.

To date, more than 77 million trees have been planted, more than 450 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has organized nine national urban forest conferences.

More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.


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