New pilot program aims to grow tree canopy and tree equity in Kingston

Map showing approved tree planting locations. Image via the City of Kingston website.

The City of Kingston is launching a new pilot program to help grow canopy cover and improve tree equity by supporting community-led tree-planting events. 

According to a release from the City, the Community Trees in Trust Program will provide trees, training and support to community-based groups that organize and host planting events within designated areas of the City of Kingston that have low tree equity. Trees must be planted on privately owned land and not on City-owned or managed land. 

“Through the Community Trees in Trust Program, we hope to encourage community groups to join us in tree stewardship across the city. Each tree we plant contributes significantly to our health and wellbeing, our environment, and our sense of community. Importantly, not everyone has the same access to trees and the benefits they provide, so improving tree equity is a major element of this program,” said Karen Santucci, Director of Public Works and Solid Waste. 

Across the country, areas that have high poverty levels often have low tree canopy levels. In a map on the program’s website, the City has identified areas that have a low level of tree canopy and a high level of residents below the poverty line, according to the release. Targeting these areas will start to help equalize the tree canopy level for all residents, the City noted. 

Those interested in participating must be a community-based not-for-profit group or organization (incorporated or unincorporated) that is based in Kingston and have a minimum of one year of experience as a community group. 

Applications for the Community Trees in Trust Program are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Jun. 16, 2023. The City said it will then work with approved applicants on their planting plan.

Visit CityofKingston.ca/CommunityTrees for more information or to apply. 

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