On track to plant 90,000 trees by the end of 2014, the City of Markham Thursday celebrated National Tree Day.
Mayor Frank Scarpitti, members of the council and Mark Cullen, horticultural consultant and founding chair of Trees for Life, Thursday morning celebrated the National Tree Day together on the grounds Markham Civic Centre.
Student and faculty representatives from Unionville High School were among those in attendance for the event, which included the ceremonial planting of a sugar maple trees.
“Is there anything more civic than planting a sugar maple on National Tree Day?” asked Scarpitti. “Increasing the tree canopy is a vital part of Markham’s Greenprint community sustainability plan and our outstanding “trees for tomorrow program” is helping us do just that.”
During his inaugural speech in December 2006, Scarpitti promised that between 2007 and 2010 more trees would be planted in the community than were planted in the decade prior. By the end on 2010, Markham reached the goal of planting 75,000 trees.
Phase two of Markham’s “trees for tomorrow” program officially launched in June 2011, with the goal of planting another 90,000 trees by the end of 2014. To-date, the city is on track to meet the target.
In his remarks, Mark Cullen cited several compelling reasons to increase the urban tree canopy, which spanned from the environment, and health and wellness to the influence it has on children’s level of physical activity and community behaviours.
“Everyone already knows the science of how trees help our environment, including the removal of carbon dioxide from the air and the absorption of toxins from rainwater,” said Mark Cullen. “What it’s also critically important to understand is how increasing a community’s tree canopy can fundamentally and positively impact health, wellness and human behaviour.”
Scarpitti also thanked students from Unionville High School for their participation in the tree planting drive.