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City to plant more trees in Mel Swart Conservation Area

A $10K grant from Tree Canada will fund the project
Mel Swart Conservation Area

Thorold is about to look a little greener, as the city is looking to plant more trees at Mel Swart Conservation Area.

As ThoroldToday reported, the city has only 12.3% tree canopy cover left, while the acceptable minimum set by Environment Canada is 30%. 

To remedy the issue, the city planted 400 new trees at Lakeview Cemetery last October.

And now, City Hall is looking to plant more trees at Mel Swart Park, after receiving a grant from Tree Canada.

The project was discussed during Friday’s meeting of the Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity Advisory Committee.

“We have been awarded the full $10,000 that we applied for,” Councillor Tim O’Hare told committee members. “The beauty of this grant is that it not only covers the trees but it will cover looking after the trees, it will cover mulches, it will cover the little hubs that go around the base of the trees to keep the critters away —  It’s a really fantastic program.”

The grant comes with just one stipulation: the planting should include community engagement, education, promotion and recognition and a strong maintenance plan.

That’s why the city is looking to schedule another community tree planting event sometime in October.

City Hall worked with representatives of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to identify areas in the city where the planting of native tree species could significantly contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity.

After a survey, Mel Swart Conservation Area was chosen as the prime location for the project.

The trees will be planted behind the tobogganing hill in the park.

“Back in that section there’s a little bit of a naturalized area where there’s some grasses that are allowed to grow freely,” said O’Hare. “There’s a clearing and so we decided that that could be an area we could address.”

During the 2024 City Budget deliberations, council set aside $30,000 for this year’s tree planting program. 

With the additional $10K grant, the city will be able to plant a whole lot more trees this year.

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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