Region reports ‘amazing’ progress in Greening Strategy

Some 116,175 trees and shrubs were planted in York Region schoolyards, backyards, municipal parks, private forests, conservation areas, along streets and in the York Regional Forest last year.

“York Region continues to make amazing progress to sustain our environment, support climate change action and drive environmental stewardship,” says York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Green infrastructure, including trees, forests and other natural features, keeps our environment resilient, delivers health benefits for residents and maintains York Region as a desirable place for our growing communities.”

York’s Greening Strategy was developed in 2001. According to its 2023 Greening Strategy achievements, the region exceeded targets in several areas. 

“It is encouraging to see York Region exceed targets in several Greening Strategy action areas, contributing to a healthy and sustainable York Region,” says David West, Chair of Public Works – Environmental Services. “Planting trees, protecting against invasive species, engaging with the public and securing land demonstrates leadership taken to secure a better future for generations to come.”

In 2019, York was awarded $10 million in funding through Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to implement a $25-million natural infrastructure project over eight years. Funding commitments include conservation land acquisitions, planting 30,687 trees and shrubs in urban areas and 30,517 seedlings in woodlands.

In 2023, the region spent $3 million on Greening Strategy programs, including $2.4 million to support large-scale reforestation, backyard tree planting, outdoor education and contribution to land securement reserve.

This year, York Region’s trees and woodlands are threatened by emerging invasive species such as hemlock woolly adelgid, oak wilt and spotted lanternfly. To mitigate impacts from emerging invasive species, the region is preparing threat assessments for priority species. Education materials will be shared with residents and York Regional Forest visitors to help with early detection. More information on these invasive species can be found on the Invasive Species Centre website. Learn more about York Region’s Greening Strategy at


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