Planting the roots for a greener Penticton

The City of Penticton is pleased to announce it has been selected by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and Tree Canada to receive a $15,000 TD Green Streets grant for its 2012 urban reforestation program. The City of Penticton is one of 21 municipalities selected to receive a 2012 TD Green Streets grant.

The funding will further the City's plan for park development, particularly the new three-acre Skaha Park expansion program. Fifty new trees as well as some shrubs are slated to be planted in the park, and smaller tree seedlings from another site will be transplanted into the project area.

"This TD Green Streets grant will go a long way in the expansion of Skaha Park," said Mayor Dan Ashton. "Planting trees not only benefits residents today, but helps sustain this important park for generations to come."

Skaha Park features a large stand of mature Ponderosa Pine, which is indigenous to the Okanagan Valley. Over the past few years, many of these trees have been removed due to two major windstorms and an ongoing battle with pine beetle, an insect that can quickly kill large coniferous trees. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction of tree canopy, an important feature that provides shade to families and tourists who visit the park throughout the year.

In order to restore and preserve the urban forest that is so important to our community, the City of Penticton has embarked upon a tree planting program to add new trees to the park and replace those that were lost.

"The goal of TD Green Streets is to encourage the adoption of leading-edge practices in municipal forests, and we want to commend the City of Penticton for developing a plan that will provide such a great enhancement to the environment," said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "The plantings will provide habitat and food for wildlife and improve air quality, as well as promote community involvement in the protection and preservation of our urban forest."

Applications to TD Green Streets is open to Canadian municipalities, First Nations communities and business improvement associations (BIAs) in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Submissions are reviewed by regional representatives from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Tree Canada Advisors and urban forest practitioners based on innovation, community involvement and technical expertise.

"We congratulate the City of Penticton for developing an initiative that will create an important green space in their community," says Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. "We're pleased that we have been able to support the efforts of Penticton and we look forward to seeing their plan come to life."

For more information on the 2012 TD Green Streets winning submissions, visit www.tdgreenstreets.ca.