Residents of Chatham-Kent can now make one-time or ongoing donations to the municipality for the purchase of trees to help re-green the community.
Earlier this year, council approved South Kent Coun. Anthony’s Ceccacci’s motion to create a reserve for tree donations as a way for residents to help increase tree cover.
Donations can be made at https://www.chatham-kent.ca/local-government/donations and are eligible for receipts for income tax purposes.
“Part of our goal in building a healthier community is to help the environment,” Ceccacci said in a media release. “We need to increase our tree cover. Trees provide so many benefits from air purification to habitat for wildlife to simply making Chatham-Kent more beautiful.”
Ceccacci’s motion came about after Chatham Coun. Brock McGregor was successful in his effort to have Chatham-Kent develop and implement a street tree cover policy.
“I’m excited we are adding another tool to address tree cover in Chatham Kent,” McGregor said. “We have a long way to go. Along with recent steps such as the urban street cover policy adopted, and contributions from the Ridge Landfill trust, we have an opportunity to improve our natural environment for future generations.”
Randall Van Wagner, Manager of Conservation Lands and Services for the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority said he welcomes the municipality’s action.
The municipality has a 3.5-per-cent forest cover, far below the goal of the World Health Organization that states for an area to be healthy and sustainable; it should have a minimum of 12-per-cent forest cover.
Van Wagner said the area needs urban tree cover as well as forests of one acre or more in size that often contain a greater diversity of tree types.
Other initiatives aimed at promoting the planting of trees and the natural restoration of watersheds include Forests Ontario, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Ridge Landfill Trust.