How does planting more forests help the Climate Emergency?
- What do forests do precisely?
- absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen
- provide shade (reducing energy consumption for cooling)
- improve soil stability/health
- provide wildlife habitat and protection
- reduce surface runoff and flooding
Do you have at least 1.25 acres of property with the potential to contain at least 10% trees? If this land is not already a valuable natural eco-system like a grassland or wetland, then you may be able to turn it into a forest – activating an important Nature Based Climate Solution (NBCS). NBCS’s are local climate action opportunities that provide mitigation and adaptation strategies to address the climate crisis, while significantly addressing the biodiversity crisis and associated land use issues.
Will this save me money? Cost me money?
Tree planting is a relatively inexpensive way to address climate change, since we know that trees take CO2 out of the air and return it to the atmosphere as oxygen, thereby mitigating climate change and producing cleaner air with a small investment. Organizations are now realizing that the actions of landowners are worth being funded, and are creating programs that will pay landowners for their efforts.
CNL is currently working to bring the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program to Lanark. ALUS helps landowners identify marginal, inaccessible or degraded areas of their land and works with them to create a plan to rehabilitate the land to produce vital ecosystem services for all our communities. No more than 20% of arable farmland is used and therefore there is no impact on the farm’s productivity; furthermore, in this voluntary system, society then pays farmers for the ecosystem services provided and for their ongoing stewardship of the land.
What is being done about Trees and Forests in Lanark?
The Federal 2 Billion Tree Program has been adopted across Canada. Lanark County has challenged its communities to plant 1 million trees by 2023 and is offering tree give-aways as part of that commitment.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority annually plants 230,000 trees in the region and a portion of that amount also encompasses the Mississippi Valley.
I’m ready to make a forest. What local programs can help?
Stay informed about your municipality’s Climate Policies by:
Significant subsidies for all reforestation projects ($0.15/tree)
Customized tree planting plans to suit your needs
On-site technical advice from qualified field staff
Tree planting and tending services
Ordering and handling of trees
Eastern Ontario Model Forest Certification Program offers private and community forest owners throughout Ontario an affordable, efficient and supportive system to achieve forest certification. The costs of getting a forest certified can be prohibitive to an individual landowner so the EOMF pioneered a program to create a “cooperative” of a number of small woodlot owners (100 to 200 acres) to get their woodlots certified as a group in which the costs are shared.
FireSmart Canada offers programs and information to help homeowners reduce the risk and impacts of wildfires including information on home construction, yard and landscaping, farms and acreages.
How do I find out what and how to plant?
Ontario Woodlot Association provides advice and guidance for planting.
Forest Gene Conservation Association (Kemptville) works with and assists forest practitioners to conserve and augment the genetic diversity of forests through Species Conservation, Seed Management Expertise, Climate Change Adaptation, Education & Advocacy.
In Natural Resources Canada’s searchable database of species, you can look up a specific plant and find a hardiness map for gardeners, current distribution map, climate change model and bioclimatic profile of the species. These climatic profiles can then be mapped, giving an indication of the possible range of each species under current and future climate conditions.
Who is doing local work around Trees and Forests and how can I join them?
Climate Network Lanark’s Nature Based Climate Solutions and Forests Working Group
Neighbourhood Tomato Community Farm (Mississippi Mills) is planting native fruit trees to both address climate change and assist local communities to deal with increasing food insecurity during the pandemic and through the pandemic recovery. They are also working to create a foster tree program in preparation for the creation of a native species tree nursery.
Hub Hospice Tree Sales – (Mississippi Mills) holds a yearly tree scale for those who are looking for smaller scale planting.
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Image © Charlotte Pragnell