Essex County and Windsor Ontario developed a project to increase the safety of driving on Highway 401 in Ontario. Land adjacent to the highway is monotonous, with blowing snow and heavy rains driven by strong winds lending to car accidents. The Essex Region Conservation Authority and volunteer groups planted 17,000 native hardwood seedlings in 2001 and 2002 on a former agricultural property to ease these problems. These plantings additionally expand existing hardwood woodlots, create riparian habitat along a river, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat. At a separate site, 525 large native hardwood trees were planted as part of the establishment of a living memorial to the victims of the 87-vehicle accident on Highway 401 in September 1999. These trees also contribute to clean air and water. Support for this project was also provided by Tree Canada Foundation, Eddie Bauer, The Millennium Foundation, Trillium Foundation, The MEDA Group, Essex County Field Naturalists Club, Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Provincial Police.
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