Let’s Plant Trees Ltd. (“LPT”) is a BC startup company focused on providing a turn key solution for individuals, corporations, NGO’s and governments looking to fight climate change through tree planting. “I wanted to get involved in something that really made a difference and that had immediate impact”, explained David Tonken, LPT’s North Saanich based president. “Beetle infestation and wildfires have changed the BC landscape and tree planting at scale is something everyone can understand and support.” LPT’s first project is the Little Trees-Big Trees initiative north west of Prince George where 4,700,000 trees were planted in 2021 and where another 1,500,000 trees will be planted this year.
4,000 hectares of McLeod Lake Indian Band pristine forest were destroyed by a spruce beetle infestation. Their treaty land is sacred to them and taking steps to rehabilitate the forest is a top priority. LPT is assisting the Band to identify potential tree planting sponsors to participate in the planting of 1,600 seedlings per hectare. Tree planting at scale is an expensive proposition and collaboration with governments, silviculture companies and individuals is necessary to implement a successful program. What LPT is able to do is provide potential sponsors with accurate and timely information on where their dollars are spent. Companies such as Home Depot Canada or Pacific Western Brewing Co. are subject to regulatory disclosure requirements. They need to know exactly where, when and how many trees were planted and be provided with independent verification that the trees were healthy, properly spaced and properly planted. LPT ensures all that information is provided as part of a complete package of project deliverables.
The LPT website at www.letsplanttrees.ca is a great place to get an idea of the size of the project and the impact it will have on the local environment, economy and in supporting the McLeod Lake people for generations to come. The spruce and pine trees we are planting will live for nearly 200 years. In addition to carbon sequestration they will restore wildlife habitat, provide leisure and tourist opportunities and supply the Band with traditional food and medicine.
While we are planting millions of trees the fact of the matter is that every tree counts. Individuals want to be able to participate in nature-based solutions to fight climate change and this project allows for someone to take immediate action. Whether it’s a classroom involved in an environmental project or an ex-tree planter wanting to help, this initiative allows for everyone to join in. The web page acts as a project description and funding portal. The project has been supported by the World Economic Forum, Canada’s 2 billion tree program, Tree Canada and Trees for Life as well as kids, teachers and grandparents. Climate change is a relentless force of nature with wildfires becoming ever more severe and pest infestations more frequent. LPT is just getting started and is continually looking for individual support, corporate partnerships and accessible tree planting locations.
LPT is in discussions with other First Nations to bring the LPT tree planting model to them. Mr. Tonken explains, “If we can get people to privately support tree planting then government and corporate dollars can go even further to get more trees in the ground. Our role is to see Canadian trees planted which not only supports our First Nations but supports Canadian tree nursery jobs, tree planters, camp cooks, hotels and environmental and silviculture consulting companies. It’s a win, win, win, for everyone involved.” LPT is hoping the upcoming Earth Day will see individuals plant trees on the McLeod Lake Indian Band treaty lands by sponsoring trees through the project website.
Photo courtesy of the author
Guest Author Bio
David Tonken is a serial tree planter and eco-entrepreneur. He is leveraging his network of professionals in the Canadian public markets to plant as many trees as possible as soon as possible.
Website: Let’s Plant Trees
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