The Sudbury story: From black to green - National Tree Day Blog

The Sudbury story: From black to green

A Canadian city that once stood as the physical representation of the negative impact of extractive industries on the environment now embodies what regreening can achieve. 

Since the late 1800s, the small city of Sudbury in northern Ontario had been a mecca for mining. As a result, the only other thing the town was known for was the surrounding landscape, made black and barren by years of poor environmental management.

In 1978 however, the City of Greater Sudbury government began a Regreening program as the nickel mining boom slowed down. Over the 40 years since, over 3,400 hectares of land have been limed and grassed and over 9.7 million trees planted.

The results? Today Sudbury stands as a testament to the power of long-term environmental rehabilitation projects. The city now boasts the cleanest air of any in the province, formerly acidified lakes have come back to life and the surrounding countryside is forested and thriving.

"Over the last 40 years, this program has enabled thousands of residents and stakeholders to get involved and to play a role in the regreening of our community," Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger in a statement.

"This program is a point of pride and continues to improve the quality of life that we enjoy.”

City planners remain committed to seeing the project all the way through. The next phase will involve beginning work on the 30,000 hectares of land that remain unrestored.


Positive Action

  • If you’re interested in getting involved in local environmental restoration efforts, consider donating to or volunteering with Greening Australia.
  • Keeping our environment clean starts with keeping our litter out of it. Be sure to take all waste away with you when visiting natural areas and use RecyclingNearYou to find recycling options in your local area.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.