May 24, 2018 (Ashcroft, BC) – This week, a major private initiative to restore community greenspaces affected by last year’s BC fires gets underway with the Ashcroft, BC indigenous community. The initiative, known as #OperationReLeaf BC Fires, is supported by leading industry leaders CN, Staples Business Advantage and U-Haul alongside Tree Canada, Canada’s leading national tree-planting charity.

For British Columbia, 2017 was by far the worst fire season in recorded history. More than 1,300 fires were reported, devastating more than 3 million acres (1.2 million ha) in the province and displacing more than 30,000 residents. Tree Canada’s #OperationReLeaf BC Fires initiative is working with the Government of British Columbia to provide funding to homeowners, private landowners, municipalities and Indigenous communities to replace trees lost in the 2017 wildfires

Quotes:

“We appreciate the cooperation of the Government of British Columbia and are thankful to our partners CN, Staples Business Advantage and U-Haul for showing strong environmental leadership in helping us restore greenspace in BC.  Throughout this process, Tree Canada will be working to help BC communities get back on their feet.”

– Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada

“We appreciate CN, Staples Business Advantage, U-Haul and Tree Canada providing funding and expertise to assist with B.C.’s wildfire recovery efforts. This is an excellent example of how national charities and private businesses can work together to make a difference. Supporting communities affected by last year’s wildfires continues to be one of our government’s top priorities.”   

– Doug Donaldson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Ashcroft Community Attendees (from left to right): Ester Spye (community member and garden worker), Dennis Pittman (AIB Councillor), Jolene Blain (Band Administrator), Greg Blain (AIB Chief), David Borth (FLNRO), Christian Walli (Tree Canada), Shalyn Pigeon (AIB Community Engagement Coordinator)

About Tree Canada:

Tree Canada is a non-profit charity dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by planting and nurturing trees. Since 1992, we’ve planted more than 80 million trees, greened more than 600 schoolyards, helped restore places hit by natural disasters and brought together urban forestry experts greening cities all across Canada. Get involved or learn more about us at treecanada.ca.

About #OperationReLeaf:

Tree Canada’s #OperationReLeaf programs have been helping communities recover from natural disasters and pests for more than 20 years. The first #OperationReLeaf was launched following the 1996 floods in Saguenay, Quebec. Tree Canada’s other currently active #OperationReLeafs are focused on fighting Mountain Pine Beetle in Alberta, Emerald Ash Borer in Quebec and our ongoing multi-year effort to restore community greenspaces in Fort McMurray following the devastation in 2016.  In 2017, Tree Canada’s #OperationReLeaf Fort McMurray raised enough money to plant more than 70,000 trees, restoring greenspaces in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta.

More information:

Interested members of the business community wishing to contribute and homeowners, private landowners, municipalities and Indigenous communities looking for funding are encouraged to visit https://treecanada.ca/operationreleaf/.

Contact:

Paul Jorgenson
Manager of Communications and Marketing, Tree Canada
pjorgenson@treecanada.ca
819-208-8230 (cellular)