(March 3, 2011 – Ottawa, ON) – Canada finally has its own official day to celebrate trees. Starting this fall, each Wednesday of National Forest Week in September will be known as National Tree Day. The first National Tree Day will be September 21, 2011.

The motion to declare National Tree Day received consent from the House of Commons on March 2, 2011 with Tree Canada in attendance.

“By passing this motion, the House will ask Canadians to spend just one day reflecting on the link between their lives and that of the tree,” said Royal Galipeau, M.P. Ottawa-Orléans who presented the motion. “Canadians will dedicate trees, plant trees, learn about trees and appreciate the historical impact the tree has had on Canada’s economic success as a nation.”

“I am proud to congratulate my former colleagues in the House of Commons for passing Motion 575 to set aside a day where Canadians can commemorate trees. It is wonderful the way that trees have of being able to bring people together in mutual celebration of a shared heritage,” said Dorothy Dobbie, Tree Canada Chair and a former M.P. “With over 80% of Canadians living in cities and towns, our urban forests are vital to our quality of life and this recognition will go a long way toward ensuring that they continue to be planted and cared for in urban locations,” she said.

Tree Canada and many of its partners have openly supported the motion and will work to engage Canadians in recognizing the importance of trees in our lives.

Other comment from M.P.’s included:

“It is essential to preserve our trees and forests, and to have a day for us to commemorate the importance of the tree is a step in the right direction,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Liberal M.P., Honoré-Mercier.

“Because the well-being of our economy and our health is so closely connected to trees, I am very pleased to add my support for Motion 575 along with Tree Canada and Dorothy Dobbie’s efforts to improve our environment,” said Jim Maloway, NDP M.P., Elmwood-Transcona.

“National Tree Day will serve as an occasion to be initiated into the world of trees and to reflect on the richness of the forest resource,” said Bernard Bigras, Bloc Québécois M.P., Rosemont-La Petite Patrie.

About Tree Canada

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. A winner of the Canadian Environmental Award (2007), Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. To date, more than 77 million trees have been planted, more than 450 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has organized 9 national urban forest conferences. More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.

For more information contact:

Melissa Nisbett
Communications Officer
613-567-5545, ext. 224