The Green Legacy Programme

Tree planting is the act of putting down roots and contributing to the future. The Green Legacyᴼᴹ will grow for many years to come.

In 2004, The Green Legacyᴼᴹ was a simple idea to plant 150,000 trees to celebrate the County's 150 year anniversary. That idea has grown to over three million trees planted in the County of Wellington by community partners, making it the largest municipal tree planting programme in North America.

View of Green Legacy greenhouses from the living roof

The Green Legacy caught the attention of the United Nations, and in 2010 the programme was recognized under the Billion Tree Campaign for their help in the fight against climate change.

The environment remains a significant political, social and economic issue that involves all levels of government. Tree planting is an easy and effective way to improve the environment. The County of Wellington fosters local initiatives by providing trees free of charge to its residents and community groups.

The mission of the Green Legacy Programme is to strengthen our community's view towards the value of trees and the environment. Through education and involvement in the Green Legacy, the people of Wellington will increase forest cover to a healthy level, creating a green infrastructure which will ensure ongoing environmental benefits and help the County adapt to climate change.

 Our Key Objectives
  • To educate the public about the value of trees and the natural environment.
  • To actively involve the public in the community reforestation process: the gathering of seed, growing of nursery stock, and planting and caring for young trees.
  • To provide an ongoing supply of young trees to meet demand.
2008 Strategic Directions
 Benefits of Trees and our Programme

  • Provide beauty and shade
  • Improved water quality and protection
  • Improved air and soil quality
  • Natural windbreaks
  • Improved overall human health
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Supports increased wildlife habitats

 The Green Legacyᴼᴹ Programme Documentary

Our Nurseries
Bradford Whitcombe Green Legacy Tree Nursery

The Bradford Whitcombe Green Legacy Nursery is located in Puslinch, ON next to the County of Wellington’s Little Tract forested area.  The land was donated to the County of Wellington in 1946 to be reforested and dedicated to the memory of the first settlers and pioneers of the area.

The County of Wellington established the Green Legacy Programme in 2004.  Between 2006 and 2007, Wellington County Council financed and constructed four greenhouses, a shade area, a cool-storage unit, and renovated the existing 1860s stone farm house. 

The nursery is named in honour of Bradford Glenn Whitcombe, who served as Warden of the County of Wellington (2000, 2005, and 2006) and Reeve/Mayor of Puslinch Township (1994-2010).

This nursery operates year-round offering volunteer opportunities, Spring and Fall school programming and acts as the tree distribution hub for the Green Legacy Programme.  



Northern Green Legacy Tree Nursery

The Northern Green Legacy Nursery is located in Damascus, ON within the Township of Wellington North.  

In 2012, The County of Wellington partnered with the Grand River Conservation Authority and the Upper Grand District School Board on an existing site adjacent to the Luther Marsh. The facility is also used for the Community Environmental Leadership Program, where Grade 10 students lead elementary students in outdoor education activities. 

The County of Wellington constructed two greenhouses for growing seedlings, a transplant shelter, and outdoor shade area for potted trees. This nursery operates seasonally (April – October) offering volunteer opportunities, Spring school programming, and houses dormant trees over the Winter.



 Awards and Recognition
  • 2006 - Friends of the Credit Conservation Award of Distinction presented by Credit Valley Conservation Authority.
  • 2006 - Conservation Award of Excellence presented by Conservation Halton.
  • 2010 - Watershed Award presented by Grand River Conservation Authority.
  • October 3, 2010 - The one millionth tree was planted by the Green Legacy Programme at Wellington Place.
  • 2010 - The United Nations Environmental Programme recognized the contributions of The Green Legacy Programme to the Plant for the Planet: One Billion Tree Campaign.
  • 2011 - The TD Friends of the Environment and Trees Canada awarded the Green Legacy Programme with $15,000 to plant 3000 trees at Marden Park.
  • 2012 - The Lee Symes Municipal Award was given to Wellington by Ontario Nature. The Green Legacy Programme was recognized for community leadership and exceptional achievement for protection and regenerating the natural environment.
  • March 2013 - The Green Legacy Programme was featured in Business Review North America and Digital Energy. Green Legacy is featured on page 304 in Business Review North America and page 106 in Digital Energy.
  • 2015 - The Ontario Legislature past a resolution put forward by MPP Ted Arnott calling on the Government to take Wellington County's Green Legacy Programme province wide, by planting 150 million trees beginning in 2017.
  • 2016 - The Green Legacy planted it's 2 millionth tree in the spring of 2016.
  • 2022 - The Green Legacy will surpass 3 million trees this year!
  • Inside Wellington - Beyond One Million: The Overwhelming Success Story of The Green Legacy