Greater Sudbury Celebrates 40 years of Regreening 

May 1, 2018

A celebration was held today at the Northern Water Sports Centre to celebrate 40 years of the City of Greater Sudbury’s internationally-recognized regreening program. 

This program, which began in 1978, has put Greater Sudbury on the map as an environmental leader. Over the past 40 years, Greater Sudbury has made a miraculous transformation from a moonscape to a living landscape

."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," said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. "This program is a point of pride and continues to improve the quality of life that we enjoy. The results have been so successful thanks to the collaboration among many of our partners including the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, local mining companies and many private sponsors. I want to specifically recognize the VETAC committee members and volunteers who have dedicated countless hours and efforts to enhance our community over the last 40 years as well." 

Continuous improvements in smelter technologies and processes since the early 1970s have resulted in extensive reductions of sulfur dioxide and heavy metal deposition to the local environment. These reductions worked in tandem with municipal regreening efforts to allow the ecological recovery to begin on the roughly 80,000 hectares of affected land. Since 1978, over 3,400 hectares of barren land have been treated with crushed agricultural limestone and almost 10 million seedlings have been replanted by the City’s Regreening Program.

“We’ve come a long way with our Regreening efforts in the last 40 years,” said Dr. Stephen Monet, City of Greater Sudbury Manager of Environmental Planning Initiatives. “But, there is still a considerable amount of work yet to be done with over 30,000 hectares of land that remain unrestored. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished and continue to forge ahead by building on the great work that’s already been done.” 

To celebrate this regreening milestone VETAC chair Peter Beckett, in partnership with Rainbow Routes, will offer trail tours of some of the reclamation areas.  The tour dates are as follows:

Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail
May 27 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
Corner of Highway 17 East and Garson-Coniston Road, Coniston

Dynamic Earth 
June 24 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
122 Big Nickel Rd., Sudbury 

Princess Anne Public School 
August 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
500 Douglas St. West, Sudbury 

Kelly Lake Trail
September 30 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
Fielding Memorial Park, 345 Fielding Rd., Lively

Many residents have a story to tell about what life was like for them before and after regreening. Share your regreening stories, and before and after pictures with us at 

For more information about 40th anniversary events being held throughout the city, visit


Picture insert

VETAC (City Council's Advisory Panel on Regreening), Mayor Brian Bigger, Ward 5 Councillor Bob Kirwan, Ward 8 Councillor Al Sizer and City of Greater Sudbury Environmental Planning Initiatives staff.