WINNIPEG May 5, 2021 – Winnipeggers now have a million more reasons to plant trees with the official start of the public awareness and education campaign for the Million Tree Challenge Winnipeg (MTC). After Mayor Brian Bowman introduced the MTC program in 2019, Trees Winnipeg was approached to develop a marketing and communications strategy and to execute and oversee the program. Today, Trees Winnipeg launched the first of many initiatives, including education and outreach programs and an interactive website with a tree counter.
“Winnipeg is known for its tree canopy and Winnipeggers are some of the most passionate tree champions in Canada,” said Mayor Bowman. “I’m looking forward to seeing the City of Winnipeg, Trees Winnipeg and residents meet the Million Tree Challenge to replace trees lost to insects, disease, age, major storms and environmental stress so our tree canopy can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The program encourages residents, not-for-profit agencies and private businesses to plant trees on private and public properties, and is in addition to the City’s existing tree planting numbers. In the absence of an active campaign, nearly 10,000 trees have been already planted and counted towards MTC.
“Congratulations Mayor Brian Bowman, the City of Winnipeg and Trees Winnipeg on your launch today,” said Danielle St-Aubin, Chief Executive Officer of Tree Canada, a national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees, and the organization supporting the fundraising efforts of MTC. “Right out of the gates in 2019 we saw overwhelming momentum and support for the Million Tree Challenge Winnipeg with an initial $1-million donation from CN, followed by $250,000 from Winnipeg-based TelPay. We are excited to see where Trees Winnipeg takes it from here as it’s already clear that the people of Winnipeg are invested.”
With Winnipeg’s tree canopy in crisis, planting new trees as part of MTC can help offset losses.
“Trees Winnipeg takes our charge to lead the Million Tree Challenge seriously, as an organization dedicated to trees and the city’s urban forest, and as a group of tree experts, gardeners, entomologists and enthusiasts,” said Gerry Engel, president of Trees Winnipeg, a practicing arborist, and member of the International Society of Arboriculture. “Which is why one of our goals is to empower Winnipeggers to practice tree species diversity, to plant the right tree in the right place, and to care for trees so they can live for generations.”
Trees provide many benefits, including improved air quality, reduced heating and cooling costs, increased property values, improved health and quality of life, and greener recreation areas.
“Every tree planted makes a difference,” said Kamila Konieczny, MTC Project Manager. “The Million Tree Challenge campaign asks residents, schools, businesses and organizations to make a pledge to plant to reach one million new trees. Our job is to support you every step of the way so you can make the right choices when planting and considering our programs, and so we can make every tree count by registering at milliontreewinnipeg.ca.”
Million Tree Challenge Winnipeg (MTC) is a program that challenges residents, not-for-profit agencies, schools, communities and private businesses to plant a combined million trees on private and public property by the time the population reaches one million. Private properties include those owned by residential, commercial, industrial or institutional property owners. Trees planted on public property primarily include those in parks, natural areas and right-of-ways. More information and tips on how to plan, plant and caring for trees please visit the website.