To kick off Elora’s 2019 Tree Day, the Elora Environment Centre has formally launch Canada’s first ever carbon offset program with a dual mandate: to plant young trees AND care for large legacy trees.
“We are so excited share Tree Trust with all of Centre Wellington,” reflected Toni Ellis (photo), from the Elora Environment Centre. “Given the growing concern about climate change, offsetting carbon from air travel is something people are asking they if can do locally. TreeTrust.ca is made in Centre Wellington initiative driven by a need that we have heard from our community: the desire to keep offset purchases and impact local.”
Tree Trust is like other offset programs as it plants strong and resilient young trees. What makes it unique is that in addition to tree planting, Tree Trust funds will be invested to hire professional arborists to look after large old trees in the community. By extending the life of these large and mature trees, Tree Trust is securing the carbon they have already captured until younger trees are mature enough to grow into their role as carbon capture heroes. In addition, this investment in keeping trees alive and well supports the many other economic, social and environments benefits that big trees provide. Seed funding for the project was generously shared by the Canadian Tree Fund.
“Diversifying our local tree canopy is good for our environment and economy,” said Curt Hammond from Pearl Street Communications, one of the programs key sponsors. “Tree Trust is going to help us plant the right trees for a changing environment in the right places. It is also going to let us nurture and support the amazing ‘carbon sinks’ we have in Centre Wellington and help them stay strong. We know that investing a little time and money into older trees can help extend their life and save the carbon they have captured.”
The carbon calculator at TreeTrust.ca is available to anyone looking to offset their air travel. Community members and dignitaries attended the formal program launch on Saturday June 1 on the grounds of the Elora Community Centre.