By Meagan Hanna, MA. ISA Board Certified Master Arborist – Quebec Representative, CUFN National Steering Committee
On April 22, 2017, communities from all over Quebec held events ranging from volunteer days of service, to planting to concerts. One event that garnered a great deal of media attention was the planting of 3 000 trees at CFB Montreal, the Canadian Forces Base in Longue-Pointe. This event marked the completion of a 3 year project to finance the planting of 375 000 trees in the Greater Montreal Metropolitan Region. The project, spearheaded, by the non-profit company Jour de la Terre, with the support of la Fondation Cowboys Frignants, la Fondation David Suzuki, la Compagnie Cabot-Champagne and the Government of Quebec, is ongoing and the advancement of planting efforts can be followed online at http://375000arbres.org/.
The momentum of these celebrations was an occasion for Quebec municipalities to announce developments in their urban forestry approaches. For example, the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, a municipality of over 40 000 citizens, released its first Tree Policy, which includes a guiding vision, 12 objectives and Action Plan with 54 specific actions designed to ensure that the city’s objectives for its urban forest are met (reference: http://www.ville.valleyfield.qc.ca/citoyens/pratico-pratique/environnement/arbres/politique-de-larbre )
The City of Montreal’s Executive Committee released a statement reporting on the city’s urban forestry initiatives in 2016 followed by its budget announcement for 2017. Since 2012, Montreal’s urban forestry budget has been enhanced by 57 million dollars in order to finance its emerald ash borer control program and efforts to increase its canopy from 20% to 25% by 2025. In 2016, 16 143 public trees were planted, while 11 500 new public trees are expected for 2017. (reference : http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/bilan-2016—foresterie-urbaine—les-efforts-de-verdissement-de-la-ville-de-montreal-portent-leurs-fruits-619989863.html)
As some may know, May is the official Month of Trees and Forests in Quebec. Quebeckers have been celebrating trees and forests as rich ecosystems, precious resources and elements of well-being since 1882 when a provincial day was first recognized. Since 2001, Quebec’s ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs has been devoting the entire month of May to promoting the province’s trees and forests through an array of initiatives and partnerships with regional forestry associations, schools, cities as well as the 4H Clubs of Quebec. Consequently, activities such as tree distributions, ceremonial tree planting events, conferences and urban greening projects are in the works across all 17 of the province’s administrative regions. At the heart of this year’s festivities is the role trees and forests play in the mitigation climate change on earth. For more information on Quebec’s Month of Trees and Forests, you are welcome to visit MFFP’s website https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/les-forets/mois-de-larbre-forets/
In 2017, ISA’s Quebec Chapter, la Société internationale d’arboriculture Québec (SIAQ), celebrates 40 years of uniting and assisting professionals in arboriculture and urban forestry within Quebec. As part of this commemorative year, the SIAQ has organized a full year of professional development with training opportunities and resources on landscape tree appraisal, tree architecture and tree risk assessment. The SIAQ, in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Forestry, organized Canada’s first series of urban forestry webinars in French. This spring, three webinars focusing on tree inventories, biodiversity and invasive species were offered to a national audience free of charge. The series will return this fall with three additional e-lectures focusing on issues such as urban wood salvaging, urban forest policy and operations. For more information on activities, training and educational opportunities available via the SIAQ please visit www.siaq.org
Have a fantastic spring season!
Your CUFN Steering Committee Representative for the Quebec region,