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Edmonton announces 8-year plan to plant over 2 million trees

The city says it will reach its goal of planting two million additional trees by 2050 two decades early.

In an announcement on Monday morning, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said thanks to a grant from the federal government, the city will plant an additional two million trees over the next eight years.

The federal government is spending $47.9 million on new tree-planting initiatives across Canada, including in Edmonton.

The money received by the city will be used in conjunction with $67 million already approved by Edmonton city council.

“A healthy urban forest is critical to maximizing the benefits of a flourishing ecosystem, reducing climate impacts, and creating a welcoming urban environment that contributes and continues to protect business growth,” Sohi said. “To do our part to support the impact and foster resilient future, over the next eight years we’re going to increase our city’s urban forest by 300 hectares. That is over 500 football fields.”

Sohi said the city’s rapid growth has led to a decline in natural areas and ecosystems since the turn of the century.

“Between 2000 and 2007, over seven years, 31 per cent of Edmonton’s priority natural areas were permanently lost due to development,” he said. “Losing these vital ecosystems is one of the most urgent sustainability challenges we are facing.”

In addition to the two million new naturalization trees planned for Edmonton, the city also plans to plant 8,700 net new open space and boulevard trees, and over 22,000 renewal trees to replace existing trees that have died. 

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