I know a number of Bay Ward residents have had questions about what the city does to protect and continue growth of trees and other greenery. Please see below for more information on the new Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) that will be brought to Environment and Climate Protection Committee on June 20th.
Putting Down Roots for the Future is a 20-year strategic UFMP for the City of Ottawa, from 2018 to 2037, that recognizes the value and importance of the city’s urban forest and supports the community’s commitment to the continued and improved stewardship of this valuable asset.
The UFMP includes 26 Recommendations and will be used as a resource by City of Ottawa staff and Council, members of the community, and numerous other internal and external stakeholders. Ottawa’s urban forest includes all of the trees within the City’s urban boundary and urban expansion areas, including trees in parks and natural areas, along streets, and near waterways.
Key work that will come out of the UFMP’s first management period (2018-2021) includes:
- A review and update of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law;
- A comprehensive urban forest canopy study (underway) and a tree planting prioritization tool;
- The establishment of external and internal urban forestry working groups;
- The integration of Ottawa’s urban forest into the City’s Comprehensive Asset Management Program (underway);
- Expansion of community engagement and public education around urban trees and forests; and
- The identification of formal incentives to encourage tree retention and protection.
The UFMP has been well received by the public and the project stakeholders. Community groups, environmental groups, and the development industry are eager to see the plan approved and be involved in the implementation of the plan. Ecology Ottawa has collected over 10,600 signatures on a petition calling for the City of Ottawa to adopt an Urban Forest Management Plan.
A comprehensive public consultation program was implemented for the UFMP. In addition to a launch event in September 2015, two full phases of consultation were held in November 2015 and 2016, respectively, and an interim consultation was held in May 2016 for the External Stakeholder group. All events were very well attended with over 200 people attending the launch and each phase of consultation.
The Staff Report, along with the final UFMP, is available now as a part of the Agenda for the Environment and Climate Protection Committee meeting.
More information on the UFMP project, including both the Draft and Final UFMP, can be found at www.ottawa.ca/urbanforest.
If you'd like to voice your support or opposition for the UFMP residents are encouraged to come to the committee meeting on June 20th.