Let’s talk trees: City seeks public input on urban forest through community survey, open houses

Help sow the seeds of Campbell River’s future urban forest this fall by participating in an online survey and attending open house events

Help sow the seeds of Campbell River’s future urban forest this fall by participating in an online survey and attending open house events.

The first of two open house events will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Campbell River Museum (470 Island Highway).

The survey link is posted on the city’s website (www.campbellriver.ca) under What’s New.

“The City and Greenways Land Trust are working together to develop an urban forest management plan, and we’re now looking for public feedback,” said Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture.

The first phase of Campbell River’s Urban Forest Management Plan was completed in 2013, and included an inventory of tree caopy. The second phase will establish guidelines and actions to preserve and enhance Campbell River’s urban forest, including plans for canopy cover growth, new tree planting, tree health and maintenance, tree protection and budgeting.

“A key part of this second phase is to hear from community members about the key issues that affect Campbell River’s urban forest today and how best to develop community-supported targets for future canopy cover and any proposed tree management bylaw,” said Erin Nowak, operations manager with Greenways Land Trust.

“All of the community’s trees, vegetation and soil contribute to the urban forest, and this provides a wealth of social, economic and environmental benefits to people who live in urban communities,” Milnthorp added.

“We want to make sure these important assets are valued appropriately relative to other forms of civic infrastructure and to keep these natural assets thriving in an urban setting.”

Findings from Campbell River’s urban forest inventory include:

  • Campbell River is home to 3.4 million trees.
  • Canopy cover across the entire city boundary is 58 per cent; within the developed Urban Containment Area (UCA), it is 33 per cent.
  • Relative to the North American average of 27 per cent canopy cover, Campbell River is performing well.
  • With 2,800 street trees in the city, the most common species are flowering cherry, red maple, Norway maple and katsura.
  • Campbell River’s street trees have a replacement value of $2.2 million.
  • Each tree provides, on average, $67 worth of ecosystem services annually in the form of carbon sequestration and storage, greenhouse gas emission reduction, stormwater interception, air pollution removal, energy savings, increased commercial activity in business areas and increased real estate value.
  • For every $1 Campbell River invests in street trees, the community receives a return of $4 in ecosystem services.

Additional information about the Urban Forest Management Plan is posted on the city’s website under Parks, Recreation and Culture / Urban Forest. The direct link to the survey is: www.surveymonkey.com/s/CampbellRiverUFMPsurvey

For more information, call the Campbell River Parks Department at 250-286-7275.