OTTAWA -- Twenty-four communities were rewarded today for leadership and innovative approaches to urban forest management. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the successful communities receiving a total of $293,000 in funding under the Green Streets Canada program for 2006–07. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) supports this program, which is managed by the Tree Canada Foundation.
"It is fitting that we make this announcement at the beginning of Environment Week, because the Green Streets Canada program focuses attention on the increasing importance of greener communities," said Minister Lunn. "The Government of Canada is proud to work with Tree Canada and is pleased to support this program, which promotes creative approaches to the planting and care of trees in the urban environment."
Urban forests are important since they help communities by purifying air and water, conserving energy, enhancing wildlife habitats and improving the quality of life for residents in urban areas. The Green Streets program achieves that goal in several ways -- from the arboretum restoration project in Surrey, British Columbia, to promoting education to increase diversity in the urban forest in Edmundston, New Brunswick.
"We are pleased that Minister Lunn and Natural Resources Canada continue to recognize the valuable role that urban forests play in building strong communities," said Jeff Monty, President of the Tree Canada Foundation. "With 80 percent of Canadians living in urban areas, and with our urban forests under greater pressure, programs like Green Streets Canada are helping find creative solutions to preserve and manage our communities' urban tree cover."
The 24 winners were among 53 proposals received under Green Streets Canada this year. Project proposals were evaluated based on innovation, community support and applicability to other jurisdictions. More than 350 Canadian communities have participated in the program since 1994. The funds will be used for projects that develop tools and practices that sustain and promote the health of urban forests, including state-of-the-art municipal planning guidelines, community tree stewardship, outreach and awareness, and plant inventory programs.
Along with a contribution of $400,000 from NRCan's Canadian Forest Service, the program relies on matched funding from participating municipalities, First Nations communities and other community sources. The program is also sponsored by BC Hydro and TransCanada Corporation.
Tree Canada is a national organization dedicated to raising awareness among Canadians of the importance of Canada's forests and promoting activities that sustain and preserve urban forests. Green Streets Canada is its flagship program and the country's only national urban-forest innovation program.
NRCan also recently sponsored a compendium produced by Tree Canada on current best practices in urban forestry, the first such guide ever produced in Canada. The Web-based format of the guide gives Canadians quick access to information on how municipal governments and First Nations across Canada are pursuing best practices in managing their urban forests. It can be found at www.tcf-fca.ca/bmp.
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The Government of Canada has recognized 24 communities for their leadership and innovative approaches to urban forest management. Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn announced this year's successful communities, which will receive a total of $293,000 in funding under Tree Canada's Green Streets Canada program.
For more information, media may contact:
Natural Resources Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media: Green Streets Canada 2006–2007 Funding Recipients
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.
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