One Million Tree Challenge to cost $43M, and $140K is needed to get ball rolling


A not-for-profit organization is asking the city for $140,000 in 2020 to get a campaign going to see one million trees planted in Winnipeg over the next 20 years.

The idea for the One Million Tree Challenge -- a plan to plant one million trees by the time Winnipeg’s population reaches one million people -- was put forward by Mayor Brian Bowman last year.

The endeavor is expected to cost $43 million over the two decades of the project, and a city report says that means raising more than $2 million in funds to plant 50,000 trees annually.

Donations have already started rolling in to the tune of $1.25 million, says the report, which went before the standing policy committee on protection, community services and parks at a meeting Tuesday. It said other corporate sponsors are interested, and the city has also heard from potential tree planting volunteers.

The report says it will take up to five years to build the capacity to plant 50,000 trees a year, in order to have tree nurseries build supply, sign deals with stakeholders and find ways to get the public involved.

The committee voted to forward the report -- with a grant proposal of $140,000 for Trees Winnipeg, a non-profit which has agreed to lead the campaign -- to the 2020 budget process to be considered.

If the grant is approved, the report also recommends public servants start reporting to council annually on the One Million Tree Challenge.