KAWARTHA LAKES-A new committee of concerned citizens has formed to increase the urban tree canopy in Kawartha Lakes.
The fund was established by the Canopy Project Kawartha Lakes (CPKL) and will be administered by the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes (CFKL) to increase the urban tree canopy in the settlement areas of the city, while also educating people about the benefits of a greener and more diverse landscape according to officials.
As John Ireland, one of the CPKL founders, explains, “many studies show that increasing the urban tree canopy helps mitigate storm water damage, decrease pollution and home energy consumption and increase property values. The mental health benefits of an urban forest, not to mention the opportunities to address food insecurity, are also incredible benefits,” adds Ireland.
Mackey Funeral Home Inc. and Stoddart Funeral Home have made a donation of $5,000 in order to establish the fund and will also facilitate memorial donations for grieving families who wish to plant a tree locally in memory of a loved one.
“As we journey through our life we meet and are influenced by the people who are around us,” says Linden Mackey of Mackey Funeral Home Inc. “When the people are no longer with us our memories are our gift from them. Planting a tree in their memory shares their gift and provides comfort in many different ways to those who shelter or comfort under the tree.”
The Fund will be administered by the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes, and allocations will be determined by members of the Canopy Project.
“As the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes continues to grow through the creativity of our community members, we are proud to partner with the Canopy Project Kawartha Lakes’ volunteers to contribute our strengths and guidance in philanthropic opportunities and local financial management as well as providing a ready-made charitable structure for them to leverage,” says Harry Stoddart, Board member and General Manager of Lindsay Agricultural Society. “Our board and affiliates are delighted with the tremendous work proposed by this venture – working together to make our communities healthier, safer, and happier by increasing the urban canopy in Kawartha Lakes.” “As president of the Foundation and a father of two very young ones, I am extremely encouraged by the Canopy Project,” adds Mike Perry, CFKL President. “It is partnerships like these that are making a real difference in our community. It is time to focus on our environment as it impacts our health and wellbeing in Kawartha Lakes, now and into the future.”
The first planting project that has been chosen by the group is the property owned by the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kawartha Lakes on Lindsay Street in Lindsay.
“The Club is thrilled to have been approached to become the first site for an urban canopy project,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Director. “Our property is a hub for families, offering a variety of facilities and trail connections. By increasing the tree cover and diversity on the site, we know that it will become a more welcoming, healthy space for children and families and serve as a source of education on the benefits of the urban canopy.”
The group continues to identify future planting sites and is also meeting with community partners. The Fleming Urban Forestry Technician program has provided valuable insights and is developing a management plan for the BGCKL site.
For more information on the fund or donations go to http://www.kawarthafoundation.ca/