Planting trees in key strategic locations across Ontario is one of OPG’s regional biodiversity programs. These areas include the Carolinian forest, one of the most biologically imperilled regions in Canada.
Plantings are targeted to expand key core forested areas and connect woodland patches to help promote the recovery of wildlife at risk. Sites are identified using regional scale natural heritage systems such as the Carolinian Canada’s Coalition’s “Big Picture.” The use of such systems helps to achieve the greatest ecological and social value for the investment dollar.
In 2015, through our conservation partners OPG planted almost 260,000 native trees and shrubs, on approximately 150 hectares of land. This brings the total plantings since 2000 to more than 6.5 million native trees and shrubs, on more than 2,850 hectares of land. This cumulative effort enhances the resiliency of woodland ecosystems to withstand the effects of climate change, while naturally sequestering CO2 thereby helping to mitigate global warming.
The Value of our Woodlands
Woodlands in Southern Ontario play a critical role in making our environment livable. They are the dominant historic ecosystem of the region and harbour much of the region's biological diversity, ranging in scale from genetic material to species and communities. This diversity across a landscape ensures the maintenance of ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and succession which are essential to the survival of all organisms. Woodlands are also sites for education, recreation, tourism, biological research and aesthetic pleasure. Sustainably managed woodlands also provide a range of valuable wood products and can be a source of income for many private landowners.
In addition to woodland restoration, OPG works with partners to support grassland, wetland, and lakes and rivers projects across Ontario.