We at Tree Canada have been sitting at the edge of our seats as we witnessed the devastating wildfires ravaging through the region of Fort McMurray, Alberta. We deeply sympathize with the victims who have lost everything and were forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind, sometimes even their beloved pets. We also want to salute the brave firefighters and volunteers who worked tirelessly to keep everyone safe and executed a successful evacuation of the whole city population, and the generous individuals who went out of their way to assist the evacuees in any shape or form, such as pet rescue, clothing and food drives and temporary living arrangements.
There is no doubt that it will take some time for the Fort McMurray citizens to adjust and re-build their community after these events. Tree Canada would like to pledge its support for when that time comes. It is for those exact circumstances that our Operation ReLeaf program was established 10 years ago – to help citizens and communities, just like Fort McMurray, reclaim the loss of trees and urban canopy through natural disasters. We will be ready to financially assist the people of Fort McMurray next year as part our Operation ReLeaf program and help re-plant lost trees on residential and municipal properties.
As part of Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray, Tree Canada has created a community grant program to support the re-greening of the community. The grants will be available to individuals and community groups throughout the region who are looking to purchase trees to plant on private property in areas affected by the 2016 Horse River Wildfire. The grants will also apply to community groups wishing to purchase trees to give away to owners of properties affected by the wildfire. This includes properties damaged in the wildfire and properties adjacent to firebreak areas or areas where hazardous tree removal has occurred. Residents interested in planting fire resistant trees as they make FireSmart changes around their home will also qualify for the grants.
Tree Canada’s Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray program will champion the restoration and reforestation of Fort McMurray. Tree Canada has committed to help re-establish tree canopy and municipal forests lost to the devastating wildfires in the region of Fort McMurray.
Individuals, organizations and companies can contribute to the program.