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TD Green Streets brings trees to London yards

London Mayor Joe Fontana and ReForest London Executive Director Julie Ryan accepted a large cheque from Group President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group Ed Clark.

The oversized cheque was presented symbolically on behalf of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada to ReForest and the City as part of the
TD Green Streets program - a national tree program that partners with communities committed to making tangible improvement to urban environments.

"London is especially pleased to have been chosen to receive this grant," said Mayor Joe Fontana. "I congratulate the City's Urban Forestry team for coming up with an initiative that will assist many Londoners, both financially and tactically, to plant more trees on private property throughout the city where boulevard planting is just not possible."

"TD has deep roots in London, and a vested interest in its future success and well-being," said Ed Clark, whose Bank represents the largest private sector employer in London. "The TD Green Streets grant will help create healthier, more vibrant neighbourhoods, and enhance London's reputation as the Forest City. We applaud Mayor Fontana for the City's winning submission."

How recipients were chosen:

Applications to the 2011 TD Green Streets program were open to Canadian municipalities, First Nations communities and Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. All submissions were reviewed by regional Tree Canada Advisors, Board Members, urban forest practitioners and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation representatives based on innovation, community involvement and technical expertise.

"London is to be congratulated for putting forward such an innovative program to increase their canopy cover," said Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. "We are so proud to have a partner such as TD and to be able to help the City of London, the host of the 10th Canadian Urban Forest Conference in October 2012."

Over 100 applications were submitted to the TD Green Streets program, and the
City of London is one of 23 municipalities selected to receive a grant. The funding will support the City's urban forestry program in a pilot project to plant trees in front yards to increase urban forest cover.

The project targets newer subdivisions where barriers such as utilities, driveways and lot widths prevent the City of London from planting a tree on public boulevards. The City, partnering with ReForest London, will share the cost of a new tree with the owner and arrange to have it planted on the owner's front yard.

Eligible residents will receive a letter from the City of London inviting them to participate in the program. This project is part of London's Million Tree Challenge, an initiative launched in June by the City of London and ReForest London to plant one million trees in the city over the next 10 years.