Tree plant campaign
Area residents are again petitioning the province to salvage the Ontario Tree Seed Plant near Barrie.
The Ontario government has closed the 26-acre facility in Angus, starting the “disposition of realty” process.
Municipalities, conservation authorities and notfor-profit corporations have until the end of June 2019 to express an interest in acquiring the property.
But there's a big catch: the price. The transaction must be at market value, estimated at many millions of dollars, which would preclude most public or charitable bodies from acquiring the land.
A coalition of tree plant advocates is pressing the province to ensure the facility stays in public hands.
A new petition urges the government to recognize the economic, cultural and environmental benefits of keeping the site in public hands, provide the op- portunity for multiple compatible proposals to be considered and “offer affordable financial arrangements to public entities with proposals that contribute to the long-term public good.”
A year ago, citizens and groups such as the Raisin Region Conservation Authority protested the closure of the plant.
Noting the closure would directly affect the agency’s tree seedling and re-forestry programs, the RRCA expressed its concerns through a letter to the province and a petition on its social media platforms.
Over 10,000 people had signed an online petition against the closure of the facility.
The campaign was launched by a coalition after an August, 2017 announcement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that the plant would be shut down in September 2018.