By Lanny Englund, City of Coquitlam – CUFN Pacific Region Representative
In addition to all of the great work in urban forestry that happens day-to-day in communities across the province of British Columbia, there are some key initiatives that are underway in our Pacific region.
2018 Canadian Urban Forest Conference
It has been official since September 2016 that Vancouver will be the host city for the 2018 Canadian Urban Forest Conference (CUFC). The planning is well underway and the 2018 CUFC will be unique in that it will be the first joint congress with the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Urban Tree Diversity Conference. This congress promises to bring together a full range of Urban Forestry professionals and practitioners in a way that has not happened before in Canada. Watch for updates on this exciting conference later this year.
CUFN – Pacific Region Steering Committee
The momentum continues to build within the Pacific region with the formation of a Canadian Urban Forest Network (CUFN) Pacific Region Steering Committee and the development of a 2017 Action Plan. One of the key items in the Action Plan is the establishment of a part time Regional Assistant to assist the Steering Committee. It is exciting to say that the part time Regional Assistant role has been established and we are lucky to have Laura Cottle stepping into this role. Laura is a Registered Professional Forester with a strong background in program coordination and education. The Pacific Region Steering Committee is looking forward to further increasing the existing momentum with Laura now in place.
UBC Urban Forestry Program
Canada’s first undergraduate Urban Forestry program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is growing quickly with 50 new students in 2016, more than 90 students enrolled, and 94 students registered in the Urban Forestry 100 course this year. 2018 will see the first Urban Forestry graduates and the next step is the development of a one year professional Master of Urban Forestry. This development is underway and an extensive market survey has shown great interest both in Canada and internationally. The focus of the program will be topics such as environmental leadership and governance, project management, entrepreneurship, urban forest benefit assessment and strategic urban forest management. The tentative launch date for the Master of Urban Forestry program is September 2019, pending Ministerial approval.