Media Releases

Community volunteers brave wintry weather to plant thousands of trees to help restore former quarry site

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MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 22, 2013

MILTON – Nearly 300 community volunteers helped to plant 3,600 trees and shrubs at the eighth annual Trees for Watershed Health Tree Planting this past weekend on Saturday, April 20 at Kelso Quarry Park.

This is the third year of a partnership between Conservation Halton and the Town of Milton to replant the quarry site through the annual Trees for Watershed Health planting. The Town received funding through Hydro One’s Biodiversity Initiative to enhance Milton’s natural habitat. Glenwood Tree Service also provided financial support to the tree planting event.

“On behalf of Milton Council, I would like to thank Hydro One for supporting the Town’s environmental goals again this year through this volunteer tree planting event,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “Partnerships like those between the Town of Milton and Conservation Halton help provide a thriving, natural environment for the community to enjoy.”

“Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time on a cold and snowy Saturday morning to plant a few thousand trees and shrubs, what a tremendous contribution,” commented Conservation Halton CAO Ken Phillips. “We also want to thank the Town of Milton and Hydro One for partnering with us on Trees for Watershed Health to restore the quarry. The hard work of the volunteers and this partnership will contribute towards the optimum level of 30 per cent forest cover in our watershed.”

Conservation Halton released a Watershed Report Card on March 18, 2013, which reported on the health of the local environment on four different factors. A minimum of 30 per cent forest cover is typically required to sustain species biodiversity within a watershed. The overall forest cover in our watershed is 26.4 per cent or a grade of C. The majority of large forested areas are located above the Niagara Escarpment.

For more than 50 years, Conservation Halton has played a major role in forest management, tree and shrub planting, and reforestation throughout our watershed. These activities provide a variety of environmental benefits, which include protecting water quality and quantity, reducing soil erosion, and cleaning our air.

About Trees for Watershed Health
The Trees for Watershed Health program is designed to bring the community and nature together to increase forest cover in the watershed through volunteers planting trees at selected sites. In eight years of tree plantings more than 4,400 volunteers have planted in excess of 44,500 trees.

The goal is to support the planting of 500,000 trees on Conservation Halton lands, through school naturalization projects, stream and Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) restoration projects, quarry rehabilitation sites, as well as municipal and partner agency lands. For more information visit our website, www.conservationhalton.ca.

About Kelso Quarry Park
The 176-acre site where this year’s event took place was dedicated to Conservation Halton by Barrick Gold Corporation and is being rehabilitated for future use as public parkland. A lake has been built into the quarry floor with a shallow area with shoals for fish spawning. A wetland area has been created where native aquatic plants are colonizing the site to provide habitat for birds and fish. The rehabilitation project includes a large reforested area near the quarry walls. Native trees and shrubs have been planted in clusters, which, over time, will spread and naturalize the remainder of the slopes.

Milton Limestone Quarry, owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, was in operation from 1958 to 2001. Since then, Conservation Halton and Barrick Gold have been working together to rehabilitate the 176-acre quarry to naturalize the site. The rehabilitation and dedication of the restored quarry is a great example of effective quarry after-use and how corporate partnerships can support conservation.

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Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators along with a network of volunteers who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science based programs and services.

CONTACTS:
Hassaan Basit,
Director Communications Services
Telephone: 905-336-1158, Ext. 270
E-mail: hbasit@hrca.on.ca

Norm Miller,
Communications Advisor
Telephone: 905-336-1158, Ext. 233
E-mail: nmiller@hrca.on.ca