The Regional Municipality Of York


Strategy for a greener York Region holds deep-rooted benefits for residents and the environment

On-the-ground actions contribute to a sustainable natural environment

Newmarket – From planting trees to educating residents on the protection of forests, The Regional Municipality of York Greening Strategy is yielding benefits for both people and nature.

“Since 2001, the Greening Strategy has delivered actions that demonstrate the Region’s commitment to a healthy and sustainable natural environment,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Our continued partnership and collaboration with our cities and towns, private landowners and conservation authorities all contribute to the achievements we have seen.”

Woodland cover and canopy cover, created by the leaves and tree crowns, can help fight the effects of climate change by slowing storm water run-off, help lower summer temperatures, reduce energy needed to cool and heat buildings, improve air quality and stabilize our water table.

“Planting trees and protecting our forests provides an assortment of ecological benefits such as protecting our water sources, reducing soil destruction, cleaning our air and providing wildlife habitat. These benefits are of great value to our entire community and its’ residents,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “More than simply creating shade and relaxing outdoor places, access to green spaces such as trees and shrubs can also improve one’s mental, physical and overall health, while contributing to a greener York Region.”

York Region continues to work with local and municipal partners to protect and preserve environmental lands and increase tree canopy and woodland cover, with a goal of increasing woodland cover to 25% by 2031. Woodland cover was last reported as 23.2% in 2017.

On the ground actions of the Greening Strategy include:

Stewardship and Education

  • Engaging residents through events, hikes and education programs

Enhancement and Rehabilitation

  • Planting more than 101,000 trees and shrubs and creating 44.4 hectares of new woodlands

Protection and Preservation

  • Protecting more than 1,360 hectares of environmental lands since 2001 and partnering with Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust to protect the 32.5-hectare Maple Cross Nature Reserve

Leadership and Innovation

  • Achieved Canada’s first Living Building Challenge certification for the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre

For information on the benefits of trees and York Region’s tree planting programs, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at


Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77272
Cell: 905-251-6416

York Region; greener York Region The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release