Conservatives begin review of tree seed plant
Jim Wilson, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, meets with members of AWARE Essa and Friends of the Utopia Gristmill & Park in Angus in first step of consultation over proposed tree seed plant closing. -AWARE Essa photo
Ontario ministers hear a new vision for the Ontario Tree Seed Facility, tour seed plant and hold consultation in Angus
News release from AWARE Essa and Friends of Utopia Gristmill & Park
As promised in the provincial election campaign, the Ontario Conservative government has begun a review of the previous government’s decision to close the Ontario Tree Seed Facility.
AWARE Essa and Friends of the Utopia Gristmill & Park presented their case for keeping the facility open and in public hands to MPP Jim Wilson, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and MPP Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry at the Angus Legion Hall this week.
Both the Friends and AWARE Essa are asking that the original site of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant is kept in public hands and that its potential for economic development be explored. The size and location of the facility and the variety of mature native trees on the property make it an ideal site for education in issues such as invasive species, urban forestry and the role of trees in our health and well-being.
“We are at a unique moment in time,” Susan Antler of the Friends of Utopia stated, “whenindustry stakeholders, nonprofits and the public have come together to reimagine a future forthe historic Tree Seed Plant.” A broader vision for the plant would result in a sound positive economic and environmental outcome for the province. Keeping native tree seed production at least partially in supportive government hands would ensure that “orphan” tree species withlittle commercial value would continue to be collected and processed for their ecological benefit in supporting biodiversity.
AWARE Essa and Friends of Utopia welcome the “next steps” discussion with governmentleaders. We will continue our collective actions to ensure that the Ontario Tree Seed Facility delivers its full potential for industry and the public good.
AWARE Essa is a citizens’ group that works for transparency and accountability in government and to protect water, the environment and health. AWARE Essa is based in Essa Township and is an affiliate of AWARE Simcoe.
Friends of Utopia Gristmill & Park is a registered non-profit, stewards of the Utopia Conservation Area, its naturalized greenspace and the efforts to preserve and restore of the 154-year-old Bell’s Gristmill located therein.
AWARE Essa and Friends of Utopia Gristmill & Park having been working together to protest the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry’s short-sighted plan to close the Ontario Tree Seed Facility and to make the people of Ontario aware of the negative consequences of that plan.