(April 22, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)  Starting Earth Day, today, residents of the Town of Ajax can get advice and assistance in order to plant trees and shrubs on their property.   With support from the Town of Ajax, Durham Region, Toronto Region Conservation and Ontario Power Generation, LEAF will launch the Backyard Tree Planting Program in Ajax.  The program makes native trees and shrubs available to residents at a subsidized price, making it easy and more affordable for residents to help the environment!

"This program helps residents beautify their homes while also helping increase tree canopy cover across the Town of Ajax" said Janet McKay, Executive Director, LEAF. Participating homeowners will get a consultation with an arborist and a five-to-eight-foot tall tree, as well as delivery and planting service, all for the low price of $150 to $220.   Native shrubs and garden kits are also available.  “Our program helps residents get the right tree in the right place.  We work together with property owners, suggesting species and planting locations that will work best for their yard”, says McKay. “And we return to deliver and plant the trees as well, making it easy and convenient for people to participate.”

“Healthy urban trees provide preventative health care benefits through shade, filtered air and cleaner waterways”, adds Jade Schofield, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator with the Town of Ajax.  “When planted strategically, they also reduce energy costs, increase property value and offer privacy.  Native species also provide essential food and shelter for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, supporting our urban ecosystems.”

Tree planting has never been more important in Ajax. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive insect that attacks and kills all ash trees, is wreaking havoc in communities across southern Ontario.  Approximately seven per cent of the urban forest canopy in the Town of Ajax is comprised of ash trees. Through LEAF’s program, residents can help by planting new trees of diverse species. 

LEAF staff will be available on April 25, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Ajax Green Living Days Community Tree Planting event (Westney Leash Free Area, located on the West side of Westney Road South and North of Clements Road) to talk to residents about the new program and how they can participate.

For more information, visit www.yourleaf.org.

Interviews available upon request.  

 CONTACTS:

Janet McKay
Executive Director, LEAF
416-419-9244 x17 (Office)
janet[at]yourleaf.org

Michelle Bourdeau
Program Manager, LEAF
416-413-9244 x13 (Office)
michelle[at]yourleaf.org

LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest.  We engage residents in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. LEAF’s Backyard Tree Planting Program is supported by the Town of Ajax, Durham Region, Toronto and Region Conservation and Ontario Power Generation. OPG has planted more than 6 million trees and shrubs since 2000 and supports family-focused biodiversity events. Learn more at opg.com.