22 November 2009

Trees on the Street

One of the budget proposals coming to the Board on Wednesday is the reduction by 1/3 of re-planting of street trees. The current situation is that approximately 1200 trees are taken down each year due to death, disease or danger, and these are replaced. A reduction of 400 trees means that only 800 will be replaced. While 400 fewer trees may not seem to be a lot, over time this will result in significant loss of trees for the city. It also begs the question of which neighbourhoods will lose tree and which neighbourhoods will not, and who and how those decisions will be made.

Most troubling to me is direction the Park Board would be going if this budget initiative is adopted. Recently the city released its Greenest City Action Plan. In the section entitled “Greener Communities” objective 6 reads:

Easy Access To Nature: Provide incomparable access to green spaces,
including the world’s most spectacular urban forest

2020 Targets: Every person lives within a five-minute walk of a park,
beach, greenway, or other natural space; plant 150,000 additional
trees in the city

While the city is advocating for the planting of an additional 150,000 tree over the next 10 years, the Park Board would actually be planting 4000 less! Not only would we not be on board with Greenest City Action Plan, we would be actually working against it.

This budget option I cannot accept.
Our mandate is not to be removing green space but to be adding and enhancing green space.

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