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New initiative aimed at greening businesses

Trees for Woolwich has developed a new initiative to continue their work of greening up the township, this time by working with local businesses to add tree coverage on their commercial or industrial properties.

Inga Rinne of Trees for Woolwich and Mark Schwarz of Earthscape will be helping businesses get greener. [Sean Heeger]

Dubbed the Greening Woolwich Businesses program, the project will see the group work with interested companies to develop a plan to plant more trees on their premises.

The latest push goes beyond the base priority of providing more trees in Elmira and the township, looking to provide benefits such as energy savings to the businesses that participate, says Inga Rinne, chair of Trees for Woolwich.

“We have been working to increase the tree canopy cover in Elmira. And if you drive through the industrial area you notice a remarkable lack of tree cover, plus there is a fair bit of land that is not being used for anything else at the moment. So, there’s a combination of some available land and a lack of trees. And also, the fact that with buildings in industrial sites, if you locate the trees properly, you can actually create some savings for the industry so you can create a ‘shelter belt’ around the buildings and cut down on power costs,” said Rinne. “I think there’s tremendous potential in the industrial area to benefit both community and the industries involved through planting trees.”

When businesses sign on, Trees for Woolwich will work with them to come up with a planting budget. From there, Mark Schwarz of Earthscape will help create a planting plan. The group will then help participants source trees at wholesale rates, which can help them save up to 50 per cent of the cost, before organizing a planting.

Businesses will be asked to provide some manpower from their own ranks. They will also be responsible for the maintenance and watering of the trees to ensure they thrive.

The first business to take part in the initiative is Elmira chemical producer Lanxess. Rinne says they are offering up property they own on Arthur Street as the first location to get the greening treatment.

Currently no date is set for the Lanxess planting, however, it is expected to kickoff with the rest of the group’s work this spring.

Rinne says her goal by time the planting season rolls around is to have at least five or six businesses signed on.

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