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Arbor Day Makes Community Cleaner, Greener and More Beautiful

May 4, 2012 – Arbor Day is a chance for residents to make Thunder Bay a cleaner, greener and more beautiful place to live.

“We’re inviting families to help improve the urban forest while celebrating Arbor Day,” said Rena Viehbeck, Urban Forest Program Specialist. “Volunteers can bring shovels, pails and wheelbarrows to use at the tree and shrub planting event.”

Organized by the City’s Parks Division, this year’s Arbor Day (Saturday, May 12, 1-4 pm) involves planting nearly 100 trees at Boulevard Lake’s Birch Point to improve the urban forest, the Park’s amenities and the Disc Golf course. Nearly 200 additional shrubs will be planted along the Boulevard Lake shoreline to help stabilize the bank, reduce erosion, improve water quality and improve natural vegetation. 

The Arbor Day celebration of urban trees has been held in Thunder Bay for the last six years.  Residents can win great prizes and visit booths to learn more about urban forestry and local environmental programs.  Children and their parents can meet the Emerald Ash Borer mascot who will remind them not to move firewood. 

The Emerald Ash Borer is a destructive, invasive pest that kills all ash trees and is close to Northwestern Ontario. Councillor Ken Boshcoff (Acting Mayor) and the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources, will help the Northwestern Ontario Emerald Ash Borer Task Force launch Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Day.  A large portion of Thunder Bay’s urban forest is ash trees and if this bug arrives it will quickly kill all untreated ash trees (Fraxinus).

This year’s Arbor Day is co-organized with the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council and the Remedial Action Plan Committee for the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Additional support was provided by EarthWise, KBM, Trees Thunder Bay and Rutter Urban Forestry. 

Residents can also plant a tree on their own property to help celebrate Arbor Day. Visit for more information about Thunder Bay’s Urban Forest and the Emerald Ash Borer.

Contact: Rena Viehbeck, Urban Forest Program Specialist, 625-2956