Canadian Trees for Life, Recipient

Since Canada has phased out plastic bags at stores, the team at Canadian Trees for Life used its one by one grant to purchase tote bag giveaways that supporters can use regularly and repeatedly. The bags align with the organization’s commitment to increase the leafy canopy in communities across the country and help Canada meet its 2040 net-zero carbon emissions goal. “Our mission is to work with community-based organizations to plant more trees where Canadians live, work and play,” said Mike Hurley, executive director of Canadian Trees for Life. “Our focus is on more urban and suburban areas and less on rural areas, so more people can benefit from the natural benefits of trees.”Collage showing person standing behind an outdoor event display and a branded banner. One-of-a-kind tree tribute Canadian Trees for Life recently wrapped up its multiyear Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. Over the last seven years, the organization planted nearly 2.5 million trees in communities along Highway 401, also known as the Highway of Heroes. That’s at least one tree for each Canadian who has served in the military, making it the largest known living tribute of its kind. The campaign has inspired another one, called Trees for Heroes. These trees will honour many kinds of heroes who make the world a better place, including first responders, healthcare workers, neighbours and more. “By allowing anyone to create a living tribute to groups or individuals they consider heroes,” Hurley said, “we realized not only does the community reap the environmental benefits from the trees, but there’s also a deeper meaning and more personal connection to them.” Tote bag giveaways provided to supporters The organization’s staff packed tote bag giveaways with goodies and gave them to participants at its annual golf tournament. The event is by far its biggest fundraiser. This year, one generous supporter matched all sponsorships, so more than $100,000 was raised. Canadian Trees for Life hopes to build on that success next year and plant even more trees. “In the last few years, we’ve planted 3.1 million trees in six provinces across Canada, but our work is far from done to address the climate crisis,” Hurley said. “While it requires a series of complex solutions, one of the easiest things we can do is to plant more trees.”

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