A Healthy And Green Guelph


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Presentation for the CDES Committee by Guelph Urban Forest Friends

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A Healthy And Green Guelph

  1. 1. A H e a l t h y & G r e e n G u e l p h Guelph Urban Forest Friends
  2. 2. Guelph Urban Forest Friends (GUFF) We are a group of citizens working, through education and advocacy, to maintain and increase the health, integrity and area of Guelph’s urban forest.
  3. 3. Purpose of presentation <ul><li>To outline the issues harming trees in an urban environment </li></ul><ul><li>To recommend ways to protect Guelph’s trees </li></ul>
  4. 4. How trees benefit a city <ul><li>Improve air quality </li></ul><ul><li>Combat climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce UV exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce energy needs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce run-off </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance groundwater recharge </li></ul><ul><li>Increase property value </li></ul><ul><li>Provide habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Support health and well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to community heritage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Two similar homes. The house on the left has significantly decreased heating & air conditioning costs, lowering energy demand
  6. 6. Removing a healthy tree means less water infiltration and more run-off, degrading water resources with pollution and sediment
  7. 7. “ A study in Charlottesvile, VA showed that when tree cover dropped by 8% between 1976 – 2000 the amount of run-off increased by 19%” GRCA Forester Virginia Gauley, GRCA Watershed Report
  8. 8. Trees stabilize the amount of after-storm river flow “ Our city needs a stable amount of river water for wastewater management” GRCA Watershed Report “Investing in Trees”
  9. 9. <ul><li>Current development and construction practices are damaging for trees </li></ul>Urban conditions can be tough on trees Roots are being suffocated
  10. 10. Victoria Road, branches have been removed… prior to final cut
  11. 11. Victoria Road, heritage home saved… heritage trees removed
  12. 12. Places to Grow will bring thousands of new homes to Guelph This infill lot between two houses has 13 healthy trees
  13. 13. This is the same infill lot. All mature trees have been removed, including two on city property
  14. 14. Same property. Now has increased storm water runoff, higher energy demand and reduced groundwater infiltration
  15. 15. <ul><li>Root destruction must be avoided during construction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trees must be protected within their dripline </li></ul></ul>Urban conditions can be tough on trees Construction on Dublin Street
  16. 16. A tree bylaw would protect this tree to the dripline Will this tree be here in five years?
  17. 17. A tree bylaw would protect this tree too Will this tree be here in five years?
  18. 18. . Soil compaction significantly damages tree root systems
  19. 19. Damaged roots mean starvation and early death
  20. 20. Urban conditions can be tough on trees <ul><li>Cutting roots during construction increases the risk of toppling </li></ul>http://www.mass.edu/urbantree/hazard
  21. 21. Newly planted trees are often forgotten Lack of water and protective guards results in greater than 50% loss
  22. 23. An ambient temperature of 26 degrees can increase to 48-55 degrees on paved surfaces. The effects on health are considerable. Shade for Good Health and a Green City, Toronto 2007
  23. 24. Best practices include shading paved surfaces
  24. 25. Park and yard maintenance can lead to significant damage and shortened life
  25. 26. <ul><li>1991 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tree by-law must be revised &quot;in order to control the number of trees, woodlots & habitat destroyed annually by development&quot;  ( Park Naturalization Policy ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1994 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Methods for protecting trees from development should be developed&quot; ( Green Plan ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Action Plan recommends tree inventory, updating tree by-law to protect natural features and developing guidelines to protect trees during construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aboud report recommends hiring a professional forester with a degree in forestry or arboriculture </li></ul></ul>Guelph’s history of arboreal inaction
  26. 27. <ul><li>2005 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Council resolution asking staff to prepare funding request for urban forest study and tree maintenance program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ A biodiverse city with the highest tree canopy among comparable cities” ( Strategic Plan Goal 6.6 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>October, Staff report states that “ Urban Forest Management Plan will be finalized with details for implementation and be presented to council in first quarter of 2008” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November, Council resolution that staff report back following the visioning process with cost estimate for Urban Forest Management Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>January, Council approves Strategic Urban Forest Management Plan as a priority </li></ul></ul>Guelph’s history of arboreal inaction
  27. 28. <ul><li>2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guelph is still losing trees and canopy due to no urban forest plan or protective tree by-law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18 years of inaction on many plans has removed thousands of trees from our canopy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established urban forestry guidelines recommend 40% tree canopy for cities to reduce the negative effects of climate change on air quality and health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guelph is currently less than 25% canopy </li></ul></ul>Guelph’s history of arboreal inaction
  28. 29. What our city needs to do <ul><li>Many cities have stronger tree bylaws than Guelph including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toronto </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mississauga </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Waterloo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Richmond Hill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kingston </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oakville </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barrie </li></ul></ul>~260 year old Maple
  29. 30. What our city needs to do <ul><li>Pass an interim tree bylaw without further delay to provide the oversight and control we need to stop further loss of canopy </li></ul>
  30. 31. What our city needs to do <ul><li>Complete the Strategic Urban Forest Management Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trees should be seen as green infrastructure and have value and prominence in all development projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connect trees to water conservation & efficiency </li></ul></ul>Bullring, University of Guelph
  31. 32. What our city needs to do <ul><li>Establish an Urban Forestry Department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hire a certified forester </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a 2003 City of Guelph report (Aboud and Associates Inc.) recommended that successful tree management requires a professional with college or university credentials in forestry or arboriculture </li></ul></ul></ul>Bullring, University of Guelph
  32. 33. What our city needs to do <ul><li>Form an Urban Forest Advisory Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a 2007 City Report recommendation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lets protect and develop our green infrastructure as seriously as our grey infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trees are public assets with benefits for all </li></ul></ul>Bullring, University of Guelph
  33. 34. Before more trees are removed…. In 2009 …give the citizens now and in the future, a gift to remember!
  34. 35. <ul><li>Summary: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pass an interim tree bylaw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish an Urban Forestry Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire a certified forester </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Form an Urban Forest Advisory Committee </li></ul></ul>What our city needs to do Kate, Aged 8
  35. 36. Lets Keep Guelph’s Urban Forest Green And Growing