Food-bearing and native trees to gain protection
Vision Vancouver will bring motions to both Park Board and City Council this week to strengthen the protection for mature trees in the City, as well as increase the amount of food-bearing trees, following through on commitments in Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 action plan.
On Monday and Tuesday respectively, Park Board Commissioner Niki Sharma and Mayor Gregor Robertson will introduce motions to substantially increase the number of food-bearing and native trees among 150,000 trees set for planting by 2020, and to review measures to protect landmark trees. The City is already working on an Urban Forest Management Plan, as part of the Greenest City 2020 plan.
“We know that Vancouverites care passionately about the trees that cover all corners of our city, from backyards to parks to boulevards,” said Commissioner Sharma. “The Park Board and City of Vancouver have committed to planting 150,000 new trees by 2020. There is a growing community desire for greater diversity in Vancouver’s street trees, especially for food-bearing species, as well as for the protection and celebration of mature and landmark trees. We want to make sure that’s part of our long-term plan.”
The motions call for:
- The Urban Forest Management Plan, to be completed by September 2013, recognize the desire for more food-bearing trees;
- Options for Council and Park Board to consider regarding making wood, from trees that must be removed, available to local artisans;
- Staff to report back with options for protecting healthy mature trees, and further that the City establish a Landmark Tree program to celebrate trees of particular significance.
Vision’s proposals will also help Vancouver meet its goal of increasing local food assets by 50%.
“Street trees play an important role in helping Vancouver adapt to climate change, manage stormwater runoff, support biodiversity and even provide food,” said Mayor Robertson. “At both City Hall and the Park Board, Vision is working together to protect our urban forest and to enhance its contributions both to our community and Vancouver’s Greenest City goals.”