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Canada

Highway of Heroes wants to partner with neighbours for tree planting

Do you live anywhere near the Highway of Heroes?

Does your land come within 15 kilometres of that living tribute that stretches from Trenton to Toronto?

If so, the Highway of Heroes and Forests Ontario want you to be part of their Private Landowner Partnership program.

The HOH and Forests Ontario want to advance planting efforts and intend to put in 1.8 million trees — all part of a living landscape that honours the soldiers of the Canadian Armed Forces, past and present.

Planting has thus far taken place on provincial and municipal land, but organizers are expanding the initiative with an eye to using privately-owned land.

They will cover up to 90% of the tree planting costs. People with only an acre are eligible, although 2.5 acres or more of open land is the ideal.

“That means trees for as little as 10 cents each on their property,” said Mike Hurley, executive director of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. “It’s a pretty substantial deal, and it makes you a part of a living tribute to Canadian servicemen and women.”

As Hurley noted, trees provide a wind and snow barrier, they stabilize the soil and help maintain groundwater. They protect the environment and add beauty to the landscape.

“We haven’t planted before on this scale, and we want to ramp it up,” added Hurley. “More trees in the ground, and faster — that’s our objective.”

Simply put, they add value to a property. In this case, they also help honour members of the Canadian armed forces.

“Certain landowners will quality for the managed forest tax incentive,” said Hurley, “and could see as much as 75% off their property taxes.”

Since the new Private Landowner Partnership program was introduced, calls have come in on a daily basis, Hurley said. “We are starting to generate a lot of interest.”

Recently, the HOH did a few pilot projects with people in Northumberland.

“All were vets or had some ties to the military community,” said Hurley, “and through these landowners we were able to plant close to 9,000 trees — all on the land of someone who served or had family who served. That meant a lot to us.”

The campaign will operate in every community along the 174-kilometre HOH route — a stretch of Hwy. 401 that happens to be the largest living memorial of its kind in the world.

Property owners living within the Highway of Heroes boundary who wish to plant trees can call   905-885-8173 ext. 228 or email: april@hohtribute.ca.

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