MEDIA RELEASE October 11, 2022
Ecology Ottawa Marks Completion of 3-Year Tree Giveaway Program Thanks to OTF Grant
Ottawa’s Tree Canopy is Strengthened to Help Counteract Vulnerable, Damaged City Forests
Ottawa, ON – On Friday, Ecology Ottawa marked the successful completion of the organization’s three-year tree giveaway program. The program was made possible thanks to a generous $365,200 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), which allowed the hiring of staff to run this wide-scale education and distribution program.
“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation for Ecology Ottawa’s tree giveaways has contributed significantly to Ottawa’s tree canopy. Multiple future generations will enjoy a greener, healthier, and more beautiful city,” said Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre.
This year, Ecology Ottawa distributed 20,000 trees to residents across Ottawa, as part of 45,000 trees distributed over the past three years, and residents have received one or more seedlings of 22 native species, including fruit- and nut-bearing trees. The tree campaign (originally Tree Ottawa initiative) was launched in 2013 in response to the Emerald Ash Borer crisis, which decimated 25% of Ottawa’s trees. Since then, Ecology Ottawa has distributed 60,000 trees across Ottawa, as part of an effort to mitigate climate change, sequester carbon, enrich soil, improve air quality, and enhance mental well-being.
"Thousands of citizens have come together to receive native species of trees, dig into soil all across the city, and plant trees that will help restore Ottawa's tree canopy for decades to come," said Alice Irene Whittaker, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. "Committed team members and volunteers have dedicated countless hours to distributing trees at farmer's markets, festivals, and events in all corners of the city. Ontario Trillium Foundation's grant has been an invaluable source of support in giving this program life and enabling residents to help us make Ottawa the green capital of Canada."
Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots, and volunteer-driven organization working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada. Ecology Ottawa provides residents with the information and tools they need to understand local environmental issues and promote environmental leadership at all levels impacting the City of Ottawa. For more information on Ecology Ottawa’s important work, visit their tree campaign website or follow Ecology Ottawa on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
Alice Irene Whittaker
Executive Director, Ecology Ottawa