East 6th Elms: Our Trees
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East 6th Elms: Our Trees

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Residents of East 6th Ave in Vancouver present to the Vancouver Park Board about saving the trees on their street.

Residents of East 6th Ave in Vancouver present to the Vancouver Park Board about saving the trees on their street.

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East 6th Elms: Our Trees East 6th Elms: Our Trees Presentation Transcript

  • RESIDENTS PRESENTATION TO ENVIRONMENT & PLANNING COMMITTEE, VANCOUVER PARKS BOARD APRIL 7, 2011 Our Trees
  • Our Trees: Overview
    • Intro & background
    • Our vision for the East 6 th Elms
    • The rationale
    • The bigger picture
    • The way forward
    • Who we are, what happened to us, and what we learned
    Intro and background
  • Who we are
    • Residents of East 6 th Avenue, between 1500 and 2300 block
    “ These trees are part of East Van history, I know I have lived here for 60 years, it is the most FANTASTIC image when walking up from Commercial Drive...these trees go hand in hand with the historic houses that line the streets.” - Judy W.
  • Who we are
    • Also residents of East 7th Avenue, and the broader community
    “ These trees are truly magical and draw people from all over to stroll through the majestic canopy they provide.” - Paula K.
  • What happened to us Woke up one morning to a notice that our world would change “ My daughter and I sing songs to these trees. To remove them would be like removing a small part of our heart.” - Alix R.
  • What happened to us “ I nearly always choose 6th to come home from Commercial. These are the most fantastic trees we have in Vancouver. They have so much life in them, especially in spring, shooting branches from every part of their trunks.” - Julianne K. Community came together to get answers and demand consultation
  • What we learned
    • Big picture missing: no plan for management of mature treescapes
    “ If we really want to be 'the greenest city in the world by 2020' aren't trees part of that picture? City of Vancouver: Please don't log our 'hood.” - Danielle L.
  • What we learned
    • These Elms & other trees in the area have been badly pruned for years
  • What we learned
    • “ TREES ARE LIFE!!! I live in this neighbourhood and our trees are our air! Their shade cools us, they nourish our souls!”
    • - Jo C.
    • Practices for treescape renewal & tree replacement are, frankly, dismal
  • What we learned
    • “ I have loved these trees on East 6 for over three decades! Their canopy creates a verdant portal that is magnificent and revitalizing. Please SAVE these trees!”
    • - Luna N.
    • There are good models elsewhere that we can learn from
    • To regenerate the East 6th Elms as an environmental and heritage asset to the community
    Our vision
  • Our vision
    • Our vision is to regenerate the East 6 th Elms and maintain them as an important asset to the community and city of Vancouver
    • Recognize the Elms
      • Formally recognize our Elms as an asset to the community and city
    • Develop a plan
      • Recognizing aesthetic, historical, community & environmental values
    • Establish a moratorium
      • On removing any Elms (except for emergencies) until this plan is endorsed by the community
    • Renew the Elms
      • As a first step under this plan, fill all gaps on this street with Elms, as reflects the emerging consensus preference in the community
  • Why the Elms are worth preserving
    • “ If we don't protect these majestic green trees from culling, what hope do we have in preserving what's left of our city's unique heritage?”
    • - Sarah M.
    • The extraordinary structure & canopy of these Elms inspires & connects us
  • Our vision
    • Formally recognize this stretch of Elms as an environmental and heritage asset to the community and the city of Vancouver
  • Values that should be considered
    • aesthetics
    • health
    • community
    • The current technical approach to assessing our Elms does not take into account key values of these trees to the community
    heritage environment
  • Our vision
    • Formally recognize this stretch of Elms as an environmental and heritage asset to the community and the city of Vancouver
    • Develop a plan for our Elms that recognizes the aesthetic, historical, community and environmental values of our Elms, in addition to technical and safety considerations
  • In making removal decisions
    • “ Twelve experienced arborists assessed eight trees using eight different risk assessment methods. The variances in scores amongst arborists were large, in many cases the arborist assessment output values for the same tree ranged from Low to Extreme Risk.”
    • - Martin Norris “Tree Risk Assessments: What Works, What Does Not, How Can We Tell?”
    • Tree risk assessment is as much an art as a science; more rigor and transparency is needed
  • Our vision
    • Formally recognize this stretch of Elms as an environmental and heritage asset to the community and the city of Vancouver
    • Develop a plan for our Elms that recognizes the aesthetic, historical, community and environmental values of our Elms, in addition to technical and safety considerations
    • Establish a moratorium on removal of any of our Elms (except for emergencies) until after this plan has been endorsed by the community
  • Renew the Elms and the trust
    • An opportunity to rebuild trust: renew a treescape with a community
    • “ Many street trees are even-aged single species stands that will leave a significant gap in the canopy if they all reach the end of their useful life within the same timeframe. Planting younger trees while older trees are still healthy helps to provide continuity in the canopy cover.”
    • - Planting Our Future Toolkit
    • East 6 th Ave
    • 64 gaps (45 missing; 19 mismatches)
    • out of 200 spots
    • = 7 gaps per block
    • = 32% of treescape gone
    • Wider neighbhourhood
    • 289 gaps (147 missing; 142 mismatches)
    • out of 60 blocks
    • = 5 gaps per block
    • = 22% of treescape gone
    Gaps in treescape: missing & mismatched trees
  • Our vision
    • Formally recognize this stretch of Elms as an asset to the community and the city of Vancouver
    • Develop a plan for our Elms that recognizes the aesthetic, historical, community and environmental values of our Elms, in addition to technical and safety considerations
    • Establish a moratorium on removal of any of our Elms (except for emergencies) until after this plan has been endorsed by the community
    • As a first step under this plan, fill all gaps on this street with Elms, as reflects the emerging consensus preference in the community
    • Why East 6 th Ave is important to Vancouver and Parks Board
    The bigger picture
  • Building community trust and involvement
    • Decisions to remove trees should be done with community involvement
    • “ We don’t own these trees. You own them. Our job is to take good care of them and make sure we can hand off a good urban forest to the future residents of Vancouver.”
    • - Malcolm Bromley, Community information meeting on East 6 Elms
  • Developing a city-wide plan
    • Managing our mature tree canopy is a critical concern
    • “ Heritage Vancouver calls for a review of the Vancouver Park Board’s policies regarding street trees. We need to recognize that we are in danger of losing the historic canopy that helps define our city’s environmental character.”
    • “ We recommend that the Park Board develop a Street Tree Management Plan that would specify a ‘one-to-one’ replacement, which would see each tree at the end of its life replaced with an identical species.”
    • - Heritage Vancouver
  • Vancouver 2020 Greenest City Initiative
    • Opportunity for Parks Board to show leadership in realizing the vision for Vancouver’s urban forest
    • Access to Nature Goal:
    • “ Vancouver residents enjoy incomparable access to green spaces, including the world’s most spectacular urban forest.”
  • From a pilot approach to a city-wide plan
    • The plan for the East 6 th Elms could serve as a model and pilot approach for how to work with other neighbourhoods and become a foundational pillar for a city-wide urban tree plan.
    • For Parks Board to continue working with the community to develop the plan for our trees together
    The way forward