Naturalizing York Region with native trees and shrubs

The Regional Municipality of York partnered with the non-profit organization LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) this spring to plant 2,000 native trees and shrubs on public lands across York Region.

These newly-planted species will help grow the urban forest, enhance biodiversity and provide a range of community benefits, from summer cooling to stormwater management.

This year’s naturalization efforts began in the Humber Flats Ecopark. Joined by over 50 community volunteers, LEAF planted over 400 native trees and shrubs including white spruce, silver maple and red osier dogwood. In total, 7,900 square metres were greened with native species across five public parks in Markham, Richmond Hill and the Township of King this spring. These events were made possible through a longstanding partnership with York Region as well as support from participating cities and towns, Trees For Life, Ontario Power Generation, Tree Canada and LCBO.

“Our goal is to become one of the greenest or most sustainable communities in North America while achieving Net Zero by 2050,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti said. “We deeply value the outstanding contribution LEAF is making in our community while advancing our goals.”

Over the past 20 years, York Region’s Greening Strategy has supported planting over 1.7 million trees.

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Photo: York Region partnered with the LEAF organization to plant 2,000 native trees and shrubs on public lands across York Region. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Koppel/LEAF 2022.


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