Let’s Talk Trees…

November 19, 2009

Our urban forest is a major municipal asset. Cities spend a lot of time, money and resources maintaining “grey” infrastructure, but not enough on “green” infrastructure. Green infrastructure is linked to quality of life, recreation, air quality, urban cooling, carbon offsets, and so many other intangible benefits, such as aesthetic beauty.

Grey infrastructure is, let’s face it, boring. It’s underground, it’s invisible, and rarely appreciated. Green infrastructure is something we enjoy everyday.

It used to be that tree planting and naturalization were community efforts. Scouts, Rotary, OPIRG, Trees for Guelph etc. are still involved in such efforts and are making a difference.

We need to expand the community effort. Council is faced with a tough budget year in 2010. Tree replacements (1 for 1) will likely continue, but we will never make a dent in increasing our canopy at that rate. The saying goes “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

So let’s rally! Would you “adopt a tree” for your local park?

People buy far-away invisible stars as Christmas gifts. And service orgs adopt a km of roadside highway. Why not adopt a local tree you can see grow everyday and one that your grandchildren can enjoy a generation from now?

Royal City Park needs more trees. The park was originally funded by the IODE as a gift to the Royal City. Will our community continue this tradition? So many individuals and groups benefit from this park — Old University Neighbourhood Association, John McCrae School, the Boathouse, the Animal Hospital, just to name a few. How about adopting a tree?

Guelph Urban Forest Friends (GUFF), Sierra Club, Council of Canadians, LIMITS — would you adopt a tree?

I will.  On behalf of my family, I will purchase a tree for Royal City Park.

Anyone else?