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Innovation & Job News

TD Green Streets taking applications for innovative urban forest projects

This month, TD Green Streets — a flagship program of non-profit Tree Canada — kicks off for TD Green Streets 2016. Until November 30, Green Streets is looking for proposals for innovative projects aimed at growing or caring for urban forests.

Green Streets is the only national grant program in Canada focused on urban forestry, and since 1994 it has awarded funding to almost 500 Canadian municipalities across the country. This year, 12 recipients will receive $25,000 in grant funding. The initiative is driven by the fact that caring for and fostering urban forestry is more difficult than most people think, according to Tree Canada president Michael Rosen.

“Some people think they just grow out of the sidewalk or they’re just there, but it requires a lot of maintenance, planning and work,” said Rosen. “So we’re looking for projects that are going to establish and maintain these trees, and have them grow into an old age.”

The need for a program dedicated to fostering urban forestry also stems from the fact that most Canadians live in highly-populated urban centres.“About 82 per cent of Canadians are now living in cities and towns that are basically urban in character,” said Rosen. “And what we’re finding is that municipalities are making more of an effort to ensure that trees are part of the infrastructure of cities.”

Funded projects in the past include a creative way of capturing and using water runoff in "Silva cells," filtering it through soil to clean it in underground units, and then providing water for the trees above in Mississauga’s Central Parkway Rain Garden. “Trees are important wherever they are. Even when they’re far away from urban centres, they’re still performing a wonderful environmental function,” said Rosen. “But trees in urban areas are that much closer to people, and they’re that much more significant to humans.”

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