Canadian Urban Forest Network – Ontario Update March 2020

Peter Wynnyczuk

Peter Wynnyczuk, Executive Director Ontario Urban Forest Council Regional Representative Ontario Region Peter Wynnyczuk, directeur exécutif de l’Ontario Urban Forest Council, Représentant régional pour la région de l’Ontario

Some of the past events and future programs are:

  • The province is still continuing its efforts to reduce costs across a number of sectors, including many “green” projects that were cancelled or funding reduced. It is hoped that in the near future, a greater understanding of the benefits of long-term societal changes related to our dependence on oil products is better understood by our provincial politicians. Especially given that many municipalities are adopting climate adaptation polices and in some, climate emergency polices, by local councils. This bottom up process continuing depends on momentum building to a point where the province will hopefully recognize the changes affecting our daily lives.
  • Recently there was an announcement by the City of Toronto around the Coral Gable Oak tree property purchase. This historic red oak, part of the Carrying Place Trail along the Humber River, connecting Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay, has been part of the community for over 300 years. This majestic tree continues to enhance our recognition of the importance of heritage trees in our communities. The City has started a fundraising campaign to share the cost of the purchase of these lands for future use as a parkette in order to retain this significant heritage tree for the benefit of future generations. Please donate now.
  • The Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) has been working with community groups and municipalities in helping them better understand the legislation available to them in how they can address tree-related issues, such as development guidance, tree bylaws , and tree protection policies to name a few. This relates to legislation affecting trees in their communities, whether under the Planning Act, the Municipal Act or other applicable Acts.
  • The National Arborists Apprenticeship Recognition Committee (NARC) has had several conference calls in the past year to determine the level of training and recognition of arborists across Canada. The aim of the committee is to raise the awareness of the trade of arborists across Canada and lead to standardization of training, potential provincial recognition and increased labour mobility across Canada, with potentially leading to a “Red Seal Trade“ recognition.
  • Emerald ash borer is continuing to spread within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Quarantine Area which covers most of the natural habitat of ash trees in Ontario. As spring is just around the corner, new sitings are predicted as this “uncosted aspect of international trade” continues to decrease our native ash tree population with negative cultural/environmental impacts.
  • We look forward to many programs and projects coming to fruition in our communities through the ongoing efforts of organizations such as Tree Canada, Forests Ontario, Local Appreciation of Enhancement of Forests (LEAF), Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) to name a few, and the many community based “green” organizations that keep moving the conversation about the benefits of trees forward and engaging our communities.

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