2.1 million healthy trees a good look on Mississauga, global agency says

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Published March 25, 2024 at 12:18 pm

Mississauga and its many trees.

Dozens of highrises will be built in Mississauga’s downtown core in the years to come, but the city also has several dozen well-kept forests within its borders to help keep things green.

It’s that dedication to the latter that has once again garnered for the City of Mississauga international recognition for its commitment to keeping trees healthy and adding significantly to their numbers.

For the fourth time since 2020, Mississauga has received the Tree Cities of the World designation from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation.

The designation program recognizes cities around the globe that are committed to ensuring urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed and celebrated.

Mississauga, which is home to 2.1 million trees and plans to add another one million by 2032, is among 18 Canadian cities and 200 worldwide to receive the latest designation.

“Trees are essential in fighting climate change and making Mississauga a livable city,” city officials said in a news release. “They help improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, lower urban temperatures, clean water and provide habitats for wildlife.”

The city has also said having a variety of tree species, as Mississauga does, is important.

“Having many species of trees like Maple, Ash, Spruce, Poplar and Oak trees contribute to the forest’s resistance and adaptability to change,” officials said earlier. “It helps protect our urban forest from becoming vulnerable to damage caused by diseases, invasive species and climate change.”

To receive the Tree Cities of the World designation, Mississauga officials say the city met five core standards:

  • establishing responsibility for the care of trees
  • setting rules for managing trees
  • having an updated inventory of local trees resources
  • allocating resources for tree management
  • celebrating achievements for trees.

Last April, city officials reported Mississauga was more than halfway to its goal of adding one million trees to the city’s canopy by 2032.

At last count, according to the city’s online tree tracking site, more than 503,000 new trees had been planted since Mississauga launched the One Million Trees Mississauga initiative in 2013.

The goal is to “help conserve and enhance the city’s open spaces and forested areas for future generations to enjoy,” the city says.

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