Grants still available for planting trees in Mapleton

Money is still available to owners of non-farm rural properties in Mapleton who want to plant trees on their land next spring.

The program is an initiative of Trees for Mapleton. It is open to rural landowners with more than one hectare (2.5 acres) of property. It is targeted at projects that reduce wind erosion, protect groundwater recharge areas, create buffer strips along streams, connect natural areas and create wildlife habitat.

The application deadline is Dec. 31 for trees to be planted in the spring of 2015.

The grant money is financed from a donation from NextEra Energy.

So far, 10 landowners have signed up to receive grants totalling $8,000 to plant 4,500 trees.

Leslie Lawton, one of the participants, said “the community really benefits” from the program. She plans to plant windbreaks along her fence lines and around a pond.

“We want to plant trees for wildlife, for the birds, to protect the soil and to help reduce our heating costs,” said Lawton.

Liz Samis, chair of Trees for Mapleton, said the committee was pleased with the quality of the projects, noting “they will benefit our community by creating a healthy environment to live, work and relax.”

Landowners could receive grants of up to $25 for each tree or shrub, including planting costs. A planting plan is required for properties over one hectare. Applicants may be required to sign an agreement to maintain the trees for 15 years. Projects will be approved by the Trees for Mapleton committee.

For more information, contact Mark Funk, GRCA forestry specialist, at or by phone at 1-866-900-4722, ext. 2259.

Trees for Mapleton is a community initiative to increase the amount of tree cover in the township. It is supported by local landowners, the Wellington Green Legacy Program, the Grand River Conservation Authority, Mapleton Township and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The new program for non-farm landowners is an addition to the range of programs available in Wellington County. Farmers remain eligible to apply for tree-planting grants through the Rural Water Quality Program.