The City of Mississauga has undertaken an ambitious project of planting one million trees by 2032. Launched in the spring of 2013, Mississauga—Canada’s sixth largest and fastest growing major city in the central part of the Greater Toronto Area—has already planted over 155,000 trees so far. Huge credit for this overwhelming success can be attributed to the dedication and hard work of locals who joined forces to support this green drive aimed at conserving and enhancing the City’s open spaces and forested areas for future generations to enjoy.
This commitment demonstrated by Canadians reiterates their resolve to improve the quality of life in the Greater Toronto Area, as trees play a vital role in preserving the environment and promoting good health among residents. The community came together in multiple capacities—as volunteers, organizations, partners and leaders—to exemplify that a daunting target can be simplified if everybody joins forces with a mission to help it succeed.
I joined this green drive last year, planting over a dozen trees with my family in a striking show of unity with other family organizations that worked alongside more structured associations like Credit Valley Conservation, Scouts Canada, United Way, and Tree Canada among a host of others. The City of Mississauga naturally tops the charts as the largest tree planter so far, having planted 96875 trees already.
Along with tree planting, the City offers other hands-on activities such as vegetable gardening, tree climbing demonstrations and guided walks. This spring, a green celebration included an Earth Market that combined workshops, vendors, exhibitors, kids’ activities and film screenings. Healthy food options were at hand with Localista food truck, along with a live performance. All participants were advised beforehand to dress appropriately as the event was to go on rain or shine.
The One Million Trees Mississauga website is a comprehensive one-stop destination for all information pertaining to this green initiative including which species to plant, planting guide with tips to care for plants, how to participate and much more. The good news is that all trees planted in the City of Mississauga count towards the one million trees goal. Just head over to their website www.onemilliontrees.ca to make your tree/s count or pick up the shovel to plant your own natural air conditioner! After all, trees reduce air temperature by blocking sunlight. Did you know that trees also absorb and block noise? Dead leaves promote soil quality. What better gift could you offer your real home—Earth?
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, Times of India.