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Our Website Makes Global Stage

ReForest London, the City of London and rtraction recognized by International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences

(London, ON) April 16, 2012 – What started out as a community initiative to see one million trees planted in 10 years has become world-wide inspiration within the web development community.

On April 10, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) announced the “Million Tree Challenge” website as an Official Honoree of the 16th Annual Webby Awards. These awards honour the “best” of the web across the globe, and the Official Honoree designation ranks among the 13 best “Green” websites entered this year.

A year ago, the Million Tree Challenge project was co-founded by ReForest London and the City of London’s Planning and Environmental Programs department in an effort to help London become “among the best treed communities in Canada” and to live up to its Forest City title. These organizations knew that their ambitious goal would require a comprehensive marketing plan that included an engaging, attention-getting website. To bring their vision to (virtual) reality, they paid a visit to London-based digital agency, rtraction.

The website was up and running within months. Since the launch, over 13,000 trees have been planted and the website design has been featured in numerous web design collections. Even with the success and attention received thus far, what the organizations behind this initiative didn’t anticipate was being put on the world stage alongside agencies like the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Huffington Post Media Group, and Ogilvy and Mather as Honorees in the “Green” category for environmentally-focused websites.

The organizations behind the Million Tree Challenge website are honoured, to say the least.

"The Million Tree Challenge website engages Londoners to play their own role in making our community leafier and healthier. The Webby honour is a big win all around - for Londoners, for ReForest London and the City of London, and for rtraction."  – Dean Sheppard, Executive Director, ReForest London

“Our team knew that an interesting, interactive and easy-to-use web site would be a huge part of our plan to make tree planting `go viral’ in the London community.  The site provides a great tool for issuing and tracking all kinds of challenges - between individuals, competing neighbourhoods and to the City as a whole to meet our goal of planting 1 million trees”. - John M. Fleming, City Planner, City of London Planning Division

"The Webbys have been around since I have been in web development, so it's truly been a career-long goal to do be involved in a project worthy of a Webby nod. We knew that we had all-star clients and talent working on the project, but it's nice to get industry recognition for our hard work." – David Billson, President, rtraction