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May 9, 2000
Backgrounder - Forest Stewardship Recognition Program
  
About the Forest Stewardship Recognition Program:
The Forest Stewardship Recognition Program (FSRP) is the result of a
partnership between conservation groups, governments and industry. It
recognizes innovative on-the-ground work in forest stewardship and biodiversity
conservation.

Launched at the National Forest Congress in 1998, the FSRP's goal is to
stimulate awareness of, and appreciation for, stewardship, sustainable
practices and forest biodiversity conservation efforts in Canada's forests.
The FSRP is intended to thank people, organizations and companies for their
good work in our forests and to ensure that we all learn from their efforts to
keep Canada's forests and wildlife populations healthy and secure.

The FSRP's founding partners are: Wildlife Habitat Canada, the Canadian Forest
Service of Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association,
and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Founded in 1984, Wildlife
Habitat Canada (WHC) is a national, non-profit charitable organization
dedicated to building partnerships with landowners, governments, non-government
organizations, and industry to conserve habitats for all wildlife in Canada.
WHC is the only national agency to stimulate and fund the development of
stewardship programs in every province.

Award winners, chosen by provincial selection committees, receive a limited
edition print of a wildlife painting by B.C. artist Don Li-Leger and a
certificate of appreciation from Canada's Governor General, the official patron
of the program.

The City of Toronto is chosen for an Award of Excellence:
The City of Toronto's Natural Environment and Horticulture Section (part of the
Parks and Recreation Division of the Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
Department) was selected to receive a FSRP Award of Excellence for its
Naturalization Program. This program is led by its strategic vision to
enhance, preserve, protect and restore features and systems of the natural
environment on designated lands within the City of Toronto parks system.

This goal is met through several objectives:
  • to re-establish biological diversity and integrity.
  • to enhance wildlife habitats.
  • to protect and enhance environmentally significant areas.
  • to promote community stewardship.
The City of Toronto Naturalization Program:

The Naturalization Program has become the largest municipal naturalization
project in Canada. More than 130,000 native trees and shrubs, as well as
120,000 wildflowers, herbaceous and aquatic plants have been planted across
sites under City of Toronto jurisdiction. In the Don Valley alone, over 60,000
trees and shrubs and another 20,000 plants and wildflowers have been planted
since 1995.

The various naturalization projects under the Program increase the diversity of
wildlife habitats, improve the aesthetic quality of the region and provide
community members and park users with an opportunity to develop a sense of
stewardship for these areas.

The Naturalization Program has grown at a remarkable rate and has been
supported by a more environmentally conscious public, who now expect natural
solutions to park management challenges.

Community Volunteers and Partners:
The Naturalization Program is indebted to the dedication of its highly
committed and enthusiastic volunteers and partnerships.

The Parks and Recreation Division has developed over 250 partnerships with
community groups and schools for naturalization efforts across the City of
Toronto. Major naturalization initiatives are taking place in the river
valleys and waterfront parks connected to Etobicoke Creek, Mimico Creek, Humber
River, Don River, Highland Creek and Rouge River.

Boys Scouts involved with Arbor Day planted an additional 200,000 trees and
shrubs across the city from 1993 through 1998.

In May 1999, as part of the new Tree Advocacy Program, City Council appointed
Councillor Joe Pantalone as Tree Advocate for Toronto. Under the Tree Advocate
Planting Program, community volunteers will plant close to 60,000 native trees
on 28 sites throughout the City this year.


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