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October 31, 2002
City celebrates the program that grows - Tree Advocacy Program honoured at Council
  
Parks & Recreation - Toronto's Tree Advocacy Program, the program that grows,
keeps growing bigger.

Mayor Mel Lastman and Toronto's Tree Advocate, Councillor Joe Pantalone,
honoured the program's 2002 sponsors during Council meeting today. Each of the
sponsors received a recognition scroll, a small cedar tree and a brass leaf for
mounting on the Tree Hall of Fame, located in the City Hall Rotunda.

"Unless we aggressively replace trees as older ones die, Toronto's green canopy
will progressively decline," said Pantalone. "The Tree Advocacy Program is an
active campaign to continuously replenish, and also increase, the number of
trees within Toronto. The program has City staff, volunteers and corporate
sponsors working together to achieve this goal."

In 2002, with the assistance of sponsors and volunteers, more than 25,000 trees
and shrubs have been planted at close to 100 sites.

This year's honoured sponsors include: Kids Can Press, Paulette Gourgeois and
Brenda Clark, creators of Franklin the Turtle, TD Friends of the Environment
Foundation, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Parking Authority, the Evergreen Foundation,
and Al Shaw.

Since the Tree Advocacy Program was launched in 2000, more than 100,000 trees
and shrubs have been planted at over 150 sites.

A flourishing urban forest is paramount to a healthy city. Trees provide relief
for city residents by enhancing buildings and landscapes, offering privacy
screens, protecting us from the sun's UV rays and absorbing harmful gasses such
as ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and other
pollutants. Trees also provide a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife,
protect soils from erosion, cool streets in the summer and protect structures
from winds in the winter.


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