Lets Talk About Trees – planting and maintenance essential to a healthier community

Last week, Councillor Glen Gower held his ‘Let’s Talk About Trees’ to a gathering of over 50 people at Hazeldean Gardens. He invited city staff —members from the Forestry Branch and the Parks Planning and Development Branch to inform the crowd about the inner moving parts of how city trees are planned, planted and maintained. The group also learned more about the various city forestry and parks programs and how our green spaces can be saved in our community. These programs are available to the public, schools and community organizations to participate in planting new trees.

(Councillor Glen Gower welcomes attendees and outlines the evening for the Let’s Talk About Trees’ meeting. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Did you know that the City of Ottawa plants approximately 2,200 trees per season? Another 10,000 are on the watering list across the city. The city plans to plant 500,000 trees over the next four years across the municipality. The trees planted are native to Canada with the majority coming from Southern Ontario.

Tracy Schwets, is the Program Manager for the Ottawa’s Tree Planting Program. She informed everyone of the Urban Forest Management Plan. Tracy told the group that her program starts planning one year ahead for the decisions made of where and what type of trees to plant. There are many programs available to assist with the planting of our trees and she outlined each one in detail. If you want to be included on the ‘tree’ list for next year, you better get your request in this year.

(Tracy Schwets, Program Manager for the Ottawa’s Tree Planting Program speaks to the crowd. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Mike Russett, of Ottawa’s Parks Planning and Development Branch — specifically works on planning Stittsville’s parks — told attendees that the use of engineering is a requirement to save trees. He noted that Ottawa’s goal is to retain a 30% canopy of trees city-wide. For decisions linked to the planting of trees in parks, there are many variables that play out — park type and amenity requirements; walkability to parks – adding plants to enhance existing trees en route to a park; and, tree survey planning. According to Mike, “an official plan review takes place every five years”.

(Mike Russett of the Ottawa’s Parks Planning and Development Branch makes his presentation. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Sally McIntyre was also on the agenda and spoke about a Sustainable Stittsville. Her mission/goal is to see Stittsville as the most treed community in the area. The community can help Sally attain her goal as it would not only be beneficial to us now, but for residents in the future. Just get involved in tree planting.

There is a definite need for trees in Stittsville, especially because of the new development taking place and the loss of tree canopy experienced by this. You can help make Stittsville a greener place to reside —  plant your own tree, get involved in or organize a tree planting group in your neighbourhood.

To find out more about the City of Ottawa’s forestation programs go to  – ottawa.ca.

To discover more about the programs available, here are some links compliments of Councillor Gower for your convenience:

If you have any questions or want to help out with planting trees in our community you can contact Councillor glen.gower@ottawa.ca.


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