Swift Current will be a little greener this Centennial year thanks to a TD Green Streets Grant.
Last month the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada awarded the City a TD Green Streets grant for its proposal to celebrate its centennial year with a tree planting project. This marks the second time Swift Current has been awarded a TD Green Streets grant to help beautify the City. The 2014 project will involve enhancing open spaces adjacent to highways and adding to the young tree bluffs that were planted as part of the City’s 2012 TD Green Streets project.
As the only nationally-based municipal forestry innovation program in Canada, TD Green Streets has been helping communities across the country pay more attention to urban green spaces.
"Aside from the aesthetics of the trees there's so many great environmental benefits to adding trees to municipalities. We were excited to see that Swift Current was interested in helping to mark its Centennial and a great milestone by adding some trees to the City," noted Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Founded by TD Bank Group in 1990, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is a national charity that funds environmental projects across Canada. With the support of more than 140,000 donors, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has provided more than $66 million to over 22,000 environmental projects and programs.
"The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is very interested in urban greening and really trying to green our local spaces. So it's that local park or the local street that you live on that you really connect with, and so how do we inject more green into these spaces," Desjardins said.
The TD Friends of the Environment also focuses on environmental education as part of their mandate.
"I think it's important to let folks know how hard those trees are actually working for them from and environmental perspective. So they're helping to reduce the impact of carbon emissions. They're providing a habitat for wildlife and for birds. They can be stabilizing the soil in really high wind areas. They can be helping with storm water management in a very natural way. And they could also provide protection as a wind break, or a noise buffer, in a very natural way."
She said that communities are becoming better informed of the importance of trees and the biodiversity in their communities.
"It's something that's definitely growing in cities across the country. And with cities of every size as well."
TD Green Streets is the flagship program of Tree Canada, with over $1.5 million in grants awarded since they joined forces in 2010.
Tree Canada's mandate is to help increase the canopy of trees existing across Canada, and the partnership has helped plant millions of trees over the years. Their funding partnership assists with meaningful project which possibly might not be pursued without this funding.
"It's something we really care about supporting," Desjardins said. "The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is very much focussed on supporting environmental initiatives in local communities across Canada. What we love about Green Streets is it's yet another opportunity for us to really invest in the communities that we serve."
“We are so pleased that Canadians continue to recognize the great importance of trees in creating more sustainable, vibrant and healthy communities,” Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada stated in a press release. “Thanks to innovative programs like TD Green Streets, we are growing canopies across the country and, more importantly, setting the example for future generations to continue to plant and maintain trees for the benefit of all.”