One million students set to take climate action with Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation and EcoSchools Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation (CFT) joins forces with EcoSchools Canada to engage one (1) million students in CFT’s School Smart Fundraising Forest program. Students now have an opportunity to fundraise for initiatives at their school by selling seedlings, and CFT will plant those seedlings on their behalf. With a national presence, the CFT and EcoSchools Canada partnership is set to become one of the most impactful nature-based climate action programs for schools across Canada.

The opportunity for students to make their mark on climate action is substantial.

Suppose every EcoSchool Canada student adds five (5) seedlings to a Smart Forest Fundraiser. This could raise over $20,000,000 for school initiatives or charities and plant enough seedlings to fill 5,000 football fields of forests. The lasting benefit of this partnership extends beyond growing Canada’s forests; Research shows that providing climate education to just 16 percent of children can reduce up to 19 gigatonnes of carbon (CO2) emissions1 by 2050.

Since 2005, EcoSchools Canada’s national program has engaged millions of students and helped them take action in their school communities by reducing waste and energy, planting native species in school gardens and running environmental campaigns on local and national issues. This partnership allows current and aspiring EcoSchools to fundraise and grow a forest with CFT while earning points for their EcoSchool Canada certification.

CFT and EcoSchools Canada anticipate this partnership will empower more schools to advance their environmental agendas and engage more students in climate action.

“Canada’s youth already view the environment as a priority, with climate change being identified as one of their top issues 2. By joining forces with EcoSchools Canada, Canadas Forest Trust Corporation is enabling more of them to make a true impact on our planet. Growing Smart Forests gives students greater ownership of climate action and the ability to make an impact on the planet and their community by fundraising for important initiatives, programs and activities. That’s a win-win-win.” - Gary Zed, Founder and CEO of CFT

“EcoSchools Canada is thrilled to transform school-based fundraising with our partners at Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation. Schools already run fundraisers at their school, and they will now have the ability to not only support their own initiatives but contribute to growing a native forest that will last throughout their lifetime. A Chinese proverb says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. So let’s get planting! - Ryan Dyment, Co-Executive Director, EcoSchools Canada

Program Highlights:

  • Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation and EcoSchools Canada’s partnership provides Smart Forest Fundraising programming for K-12 students across Canada. By engaging in the Smart Forest Fundraising program, schools can earn up to 5 points toward their EcoSchools Canada certification.

  • All Canadian schools are eligible to become a School Smart Forest Fundraiser to gain points towards an EcoSchools Canada certification. To apply, go to, fill out the application form and self-identify as an EcoSchools Canada participant. To earn points towards your EcoSchools Certification, register to become an EcoSchool at It’s free for all public schools in Canada! Once registered, complete the ‘Create Your Own Action’ card to tell us about your fundraiser and earn points towards becoming a certified EcoSchool!

  • Smart Forest Fundraising is a sustainable, planet-positive alternative to sugary or plastic-filled fundraisers. Schools and students sell seedlings to grow forests and capture their carbon footprint. A portion of every seedling sale will be allocated to the initiatives of your choosing, and the remainder will be used to plant and protect a Smart Forest™ in Canada on your behalf. All participants will receive a customized digital fundraising platform to track seedling sales and the growth of your Smart Forest™.

About Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation
Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation (CFT) is a social enterprise that offers a nature-based solution to capture carbon by building Smart Forests™. CFT’s mission is to grow, preserve and protect millions of acres of forests worldwide in collaboration with our program participants, who include: businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, charities, communities, Indigenous communities and individuals. Our Forever Forest Guarantee™ ensures that every Smart Forest is measured, monitored and maintained following industry-leading silviculture practices. Smart Forests sequester CO2, rehabilitate ecosystems, engage Indigenous communities, and boost the green economy. Smart Forests are smart investments for you and the planet.

About EcoSchools Canada
Since 2005, EcoSchools Canada’s award-winning certification framework has provided independent reporting and recognition for schools and outdoor and environmental education centres. Reaching about 1 million students annually, we are the largest bilingual, voluntary environmental certification program for K-12 schools in Canada. We support engagement across all levels of the education sector – from students and teachers to trustees and parents – through training workshops and webinars, annual conferences, educational resources, and national campaigns.

Media Contact - Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation
Taylor Piotrowski 

Media Contact - EcoSchools Canada
Jose Marulanda 

1 Cordero EC, Centeno D, Todd AM (2020) The role of climate change education on individual lifetime carbon emissions. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0206266.