Peter Wynnyczuk – Ontario Representative, CUFN Steering Committee, and Executive Director, Ontario Urban Forest Council

May 17, 2018

In October, the Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) held its conference in Ajax with a diverse group of participants to discuss varied topics related to the urban forest and opportunities to help retain and improve it. On November 2, 2018, returning to the Heintzman House in Thornhill, Ontario, is our next Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM). Conference details coming soon.

The OUFC, in supporting one of our advisors Edith George, attended the City of Toronto Council meeting on April 25, 2018 to show support for the City to determine a course of action to protect the Red Oak tree at 76 Coral Gables in Weston. As it turned out it was pulled and deferred until a meeting in May. A go fund me site has been set up to provide for a vehicle to bring in donations toward the purchase of the property. This would be in collaboration with a public authority to make it in to a park in recognition of the tree as part of the Carrying Place Trail. To learn more, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/toronto039s-350-yr-old-red-oak-tree?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Ontario is shutting down the Angus Tree Seed Plant which has been in operation since the 1920’s. The OUFC sent a letter to the Premier and Minister to see if they would consider a wider public consultation on the matter, but to no avail. They have determined the private sector will fill the gap left by the closing in August/September 2018.  We hope between now and then a scaled down version of the seed plant will be retained to help provide known seed sources for planting out in the communities that are seed zone appropriate.

Forests Ontario continues to recognize OUFC/FO Heritage tree program and is maintaining the website and administering the program. This program enables recognition of heritage trees in our communities that have contributed to our sense of time and place.

Further we are collaborating on existing Ontario Tree bylaws, street, parks, private, heritage district, under the University of Toronto to help create a map of the existing tree protection bylaws. This has since been published online at: http://forestry.utoronto.ca/canadas-urban-forestry-footprint/

The OUFC is anticipating a number of workshops this year commencing in late June with a series of 1/2 day workshops across south/central Ontario. The topics will include Heritage Tree designation process under the Heritage Act and local planning opportunities related to tree retention/enhancement.

Details and dates/times to be announced.

To help communities and municipalities address tree issue, the OUFC is promoting a new program of community engagement and municipal review of existing policies/bylaws in relation to community needs. Details to follow.

Suggested upcoming event:

The Urban Forest of Tomorrow: Strategies for a Changing Environment, Thursday June 14th and Friday June 15th 2018 – this event will be held at the University of Toronto – Mississauga Campus. For more information, please visit: http://ufis.ca/conferences-and-educational-events/

Your CUFN Steering Committee Ontario Representative,
Peter Wynnyczuk, Executive Director, Ontario Urban Forest Council