We are recklessly destroying the timber of Canada, and there is scarcely a possibility of replacing it.

Sir John A. Macdonald’s 1871 prediction did not happen in Ontario because of visionaries like Zavitz and Drury.

Simcoe County, Midhurst and Angus were provincially significant reforestation components.

Reviews: Edmund Zavitz has rescued Ontario from the ravages of environmental disasters and more than two billion trees have been planted under his guidance, with more to come. – The Globe and Mail

Lest we think modern generations are the first to care about sustainability of natural resources, St. Catharines conservationist John Bacher sets the record straight. – The Guelph Mercury

It’s hard to believe as one drives through the lush Ontario landscape that it was not always this way. That’s why the photos in John Bacher’s Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz (Dundurn, 2011) come as such a shock to the reader.  – Ancient Trees Forum (UK)

Background: Edmund Zavitz (1875–1968) rescued Ontario from the ravages of increasingly more powerful floods, erosion, and deadly fires. Wastelands were talking over many hectares of once-flourishing farmlands and towns. Sites like the Oak Ridges Moraine were well on their way to becoming a dust bowl — and all because of extensive deforestation. Zavitz held the positions of chief forester of Ontario, deputy minister of forests, and director of reforestation. His first pilot reforestation project was in 1905, and since then Zavitz has educated the public and politicians about the need to protect Ontario forests. By the mid-1940s, conservation authorities, provincial nurseries, forestry stations, and bylaws protecting trees were in place. Land was being restored. Just a month before his death, the one billionth tree was planted by Premier John Robarts. Some two billion more would follow. As a result of Zavitz’s work, the Niagara Escarpment, once a wasteland, is now a UNESCO World Biosphere. Recognition of the ongoing need to plant trees to protect our future continues as the legacy of Edmund Zavitz.

— Bacher, John, Two Billion Trees & Counting : The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz, Kenneth A. Armson (Foreword), 2011.


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