The mission of the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute is simple: To plant 2 million trees along and within the communities adjacent to the 401 Highway of Heroes, a tribute to the men and women who fought for Canada in our wars, and a living memorial to the 117,000 who died for freedom.
The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign has a threefold benefit: honouring our military, cooling the environment and beautifying the most travelled highway in North America.
This Living Tribute is something that touches every Canadian. It transcends political partisanship, ethnic and language diversity, and brings Canadians together from across this great, vast country. Like the building of the Transcontinental Railroad 150 years ago, The Highway of Heroes Living Tribute unites Canadians like few things can. (Gold medal Olympic hockey games excluded).
In 2014, a group of tree-loving people thought it would be a wonderful enhancement to transform the Highway of Heroes into a living tribute that honours our war dead, 117,000 since Confederation. Also, planting commemorative trees along the highway would clean the atmosphere, cool the environment and provide an inspired drive down an otherwise pedestrian stretch of asphalt.
Since that time, support has grown, as have the project’s ambitions. 117,000 trees will be planted directly adjacent to the highway to honour those who died, and a total of two million trees will be planted to recognize all Canadians who have served during times of war. Already underway, tree planting events educate volunteers about sacrifices that have been made. Military personnel and veterans frequently attend these events themselves.
Our Leadership Team, Tony DiGiovanni, Mark Cullen and Michael de Pencier, along with our master landscape designer Ron Koudys developed the idea for the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute. And so our journey begins.