KELOWNA - The City’s NeighbourWoods program has grown new roots for 2013 allowing residents to apply for a tree beginning March 15. This year’s program is being sponsored by Air Wick through the company’s “Canada’s Freshest Smelling Location” Facebook contest that ran online this past summer.
“We weren’t aware the contest was going on,” says Blair Stewart, Urban Forestry Supervisor. “A representative from Air Wick contacted us in the fall to let us know that we had won the contest and were being awarded $25,000. We felt the best way to use that money would be share it with residents through our NeighbourWoods program.”
The NeighbourWoods program is an important residential planting initiative for the City as it makes “greening” neighbourhoods affordable for residents. The program encourages citizens and communities to grow and preserve our urban forest, which according to an Urban Forest Effects Analysis completed in 2007, shows Kelowna’s tree canopy was at about 13 per cent. The recommended tree cover for our area is 25 per cent.
“Air Wick strongly believes in supporting initiatives that make a difference in our communities, like the City of Kelowna’s NeighbourWoods Program,” said Indresh Kohli, Marketing Director Air Care from Reckitt Benckiser. “We look forward to helping the residents of Kelowna continue to grow and preserve their urban forest in 2013 through this contribution – and ensure that future generations can enjoy and benefit from the trees planted.”
Friends of and visitors to Air Wick’s Facebook page were asked to vote for what they believed to be the freshest smelling location in Canada over the summer. After outvoting locations such as Tofino, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Quebec City and Algonquin Park, Kelowna was named the winner.
“The contest was a great way for Air Wick to engage their friends while also having a positive impact on a community, our community. What we take away from this contest, aside from being able to run NeighbourWoods this year, is that residents and visitors respect our community and value the work we all do to keep it clean, safe and apparently smelling fresh.” says Stewart.
Since 2010, residents have purchased 1400 discounted trees to plant on their properties. This year, 450 trees will be available at a cost of $30/tree, including taxes.