The big news in the Pacific Region is the International Urban Forest Congress. If you haven’t heard about the Congress happening in Vancouver from September 30 – October 3 you should check it out. This is an opportunity not to be missed! The Congress is a unique partnership between Tree Canada’s Canadian Urban Forest Conference (CUFC), the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (PNW-ISA) Annual Training Conference and the Urban Tree Diversity Conference (UTD).  The goal of the Congress is to provide a forum for practicing arborists and urban foresters, green space planners and designers, policy makers, researchers and educators to share their unique insights into arboriculture and urban forestry. The power of diversity in urban forestry will be explored; diversity of trees and forests, diversity of people and communities, and diversities of management practices. By sharing and learning from each other’s knowledge and experience we will all be better able to play a role in shaping the world’s urban forests.

Pacific Region Update

The Canadian Urban Forest Conference (CUFC) happens every two years on even years and is an integral component of this fall’s International Urban Forest Congress. In the Pacific region we host regional one-day workshops on the alternating odd numbered years between CUFC years. These workshops began in fall 2015 and the most recent one took place on October 23, 2017. This most recent workshop featured four speakers covering a range of topics focused on diversity, in keeping with the theme of this fall’s International Urban Forest Congress.  A big thank you to our presenters: i) Neal Aven, City of Surrey, ii) Amelia Needoba, Diamond Head Consulting; Josephine Clark, Metro Vancouver, iii) Lyda Salatian, Green Teams of Canada, iv) Nick Page, Vancouver Parks Board; Frank Heinzelmann, Jericho Stewardship Group. The workshop noted above was held at the Forest Sciences Building at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to capture the synergies with a public event hosted by the Faculty of Forestry on the same day as part of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) International Round table workshop and public event called “Do Rainbows Come in Green? Urban Forests and Multicultural Citizenship” (see reflection by Dr. Adrina C. Bardekjian). A lot is happening within the region to move the practice of urban forestry forward and our Canadian Urban Forest Network (CUFN) Pacific Region Steering Committee in this region is helping to facilitate information sharing to maximize the benefits of the learning and experiences of our members.

As a program of Tree Canada, the Canadian Urban Forest Strategy (CUFS), led by the National Steering Committee of the CUFN, outlines key priorities at the nationwide level. Over the past four years, we have progressed greatly with respect to Engagement and Research (see recent article by Dr. Adrina C. Bardekjian, Manager of Urban Forestry Programs and Research Development with Tree Canada). The CUFN Pacific Region Steering Committee is now working to develop a regional Action Plan that aligns with the CUFS framework and will set a path forward to deliver on the priority actions for urban forests here in the Pacific Region. Look to hear more about the Action Plan later this year.

University of British Columbia – Urban Forestry Program

The University of British Columbia Urban Forestry program, which is the first undergraduate program of its kind in Canada, just celebrated its first graduating class on May 31st. These graduates are uniquely prepared to enter the workforce with current knowledge that spans the full scope of urban forestry practice.  Subject to ministerial approval, fall 2019 will see another landmark for the UBC Faculty of Forestry as they launch a one-year professional Masters in Urban Forest Leadership (MUFL) program focused on developing urban forestry leadership and technical skills that will target urban forestry professionals.