Parksville Urban Forest Strategy

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Project description

Parksville’s urban forest includes all trees, vegetation and soil; spanning parks, streets, existing forests and other ecosystems, agriculture lands, and private property. The urban forest is an important community resource integral to the character of the city.

The City is currently in the process of developing an Urban Forest Strategy that will provide baseline information about the state of our urban forest, develop a long-term vision, and adopt tangible goals for its management and growth. The City will be inviting community members to participate in the development of the Strategy over the next year.

Background

Trees are living assets that provide numerous benefits to the community such as capturing rainwater, cleaning air, shading and cooling streets and buildings, promoting economic growth by attracting tourism, and reducing energy use costs including heating and cooling. The urban forest also supports our physical and mental health and wellbeing – you may have experienced these benefits during the pandemic, for example, while walking in your neighbourhood or exploring the forest in and around Parksville.

The urban forest is facing challenges from climate hazards, urbanization, and declining forest health. The increase in the number of tree species dying throughout the city are prime examples of the impacts of warmer, drier summers affecting the health and species composition of our native forests. The City’s resources have been stretched to manage the volume of dead, dying and high risk trees. Parksville also needs to accommodate a growing population, which means new housing and infrastructure are being built in areas that used to be forest. Rarely can individual or small groups of trees that grew up in a forest be retained when development occurs because they are vulnerable to winds once exposed. In these areas, the trees that are planted in new yards, parks and along streets will form the future forest canopy. The Urban Forest Strategy will provide direction for the City to address these challenges and harness the opportunities to achieve the community’s vision for Parksville’s future urban forest.

The Urban Forest Strategy will be developed throughout 2021 and into 2022, with opportunities for public engagement offered throughout the process. Completion of the Urban Forest Strategy is targeted for April 2022.

Project description

Parksville’s urban forest includes all trees, vegetation and soil; spanning parks, streets, existing forests and other ecosystems, agriculture lands, and private property. The urban forest is an important community resource integral to the character of the city.

The City is currently in the process of developing an Urban Forest Strategy that will provide baseline information about the state of our urban forest, develop a long-term vision, and adopt tangible goals for its management and growth. The City will be inviting community members to participate in the development of the Strategy over the next year.

Background

Trees are living assets that provide numerous benefits to the community such as capturing rainwater, cleaning air, shading and cooling streets and buildings, promoting economic growth by attracting tourism, and reducing energy use costs including heating and cooling. The urban forest also supports our physical and mental health and wellbeing – you may have experienced these benefits during the pandemic, for example, while walking in your neighbourhood or exploring the forest in and around Parksville.

The urban forest is facing challenges from climate hazards, urbanization, and declining forest health. The increase in the number of tree species dying throughout the city are prime examples of the impacts of warmer, drier summers affecting the health and species composition of our native forests. The City’s resources have been stretched to manage the volume of dead, dying and high risk trees. Parksville also needs to accommodate a growing population, which means new housing and infrastructure are being built in areas that used to be forest. Rarely can individual or small groups of trees that grew up in a forest be retained when development occurs because they are vulnerable to winds once exposed. In these areas, the trees that are planted in new yards, parks and along streets will form the future forest canopy. The Urban Forest Strategy will provide direction for the City to address these challenges and harness the opportunities to achieve the community’s vision for Parksville’s future urban forest.

The Urban Forest Strategy will be developed throughout 2021 and into 2022, with opportunities for public engagement offered throughout the process. Completion of the Urban Forest Strategy is targeted for April 2022.

  • Urban Forest Strategy Update

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    The first phase of public engagement on the Urban Forest Strategy was completed on November 1. We have been continuing to work with Diamond Head Consulting to draft the Urban Forest Strategy, building on input from the public and City staff. Thank you to those who visited the information on Let’s Talk Parksville, shared their voices in the online survey, contributed an urban forest location in the mapping tab, and shared ideas on the ideas tab. Here are some key findings from the first phase of engagement:

    • 18% of survey respondents live on streets with few or no trees – 41% of respondents prefer streets with large-sized trees of mixed species and spacing
    • The three most important urban forest benefits for survey respondents are creating habitat for plants and animals, providing clean water and clean air.
    • The most important considerations for street tree selection identified by survey respondents were to maximize benefits, tolerance to climate change, and attractiveness to birds and pollinators.
    • Respondents would like the City to prioritize planting trees in parks, streets, and major arterial roads
    • Tree loss has affected survey respondents - 66% have been affected and the majority (74%) ranked that impact as severe.
    • Most respondents attached an increased importance to trees and outdoor spaces during the pandemic (72%).
    • Survey respondents were mixed over current levels of service for urban forest management, expressing the most dissatisfaction with protecting trees during development (66% dissatisfied).
    • Most respondents indicated a willingness to contribute $25 and $100 per year per household to increase levels of satisfaction.
    • Survey respondents are active urban forest stewards - 97% participated in at least one urban forest stewardship activity in the last five years.
    • The top reasons for submitting the urban forest locations on the mapping tool were because participants appreciate the landscape and can experience nature in those places.

    More results from the first phase of public engagement will be shared during phase two of engagement and in the draft strategy. Please subscribe for project updates and check back on Lets Talk Parksville in the winter and early spring 2022 for an opportunity to review and provide input on Parksville’s draft Urban Forest Strategy. Thank you for your time and input to help shape Parksville’s urban forest for the next 15 years and beyond.

  • Parksville Engagement – Urban Forest Strategy

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    October 5, 2021

    We are working with Diamond Head Consulting to develop an Urban Forest Strategy to provide baseline information about the state of the urban forest, develop a long-term vision, and adopt tangible goals to grow and manage our urban forest to sustain future generations.

    Public engagement on the Urban Forest Strategy currently underway, will continue until October 22. Thank you to those who visited Let’s Talk Parksville and participated in the first round of engagement; please spread the word to ensure the vision for the urban forest includes the many voices that shape our community. There will be a second opportunity to have your voice heard during winter 2022, during the second round of engagement on the draft Urban Forest Strategy. Our goal is to complete the strategy in March 2022.

    The public can learn more about the Urban Forest Strategy and provide their input by participating in three online engagement tools on the Let’s Talk Parksville project page. Visit Lets Talk Parksville through the end of October to take a survey, share you ideas, and submit a mapping location.

    We want to hear from you! To have your opinion shape Parksville’s urban forest, be sure to:

    1. Take the 15-minute SURVEY to share what you value in the urban forest and priorities for management to inform the vision, principles, goals, and targets in the Urban Forest Strategy.
    2. Use the MAP tool to share locations where you value the urban forest and locations where you would like to see improvements to the urban forest throughout the City. Let the project team know why it is an important urban forest location and the reasons why you visit the area. You can also upload a photo of the urban forest location to show us and other community members what you are describing. You can submit as many locations as you wish, and view locations submitted by other community members.
    3. Share your ideas for the Urban Forest Strategy with the project team using the IDEAS tool and read what others are suggesting.

    For more information:
    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca; 250 954-3073

  • News Release -City to Develop Urban Forest Strategy

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    With consultant, Diamond Head, we are developing an urban forest strategy, a comprehensive document which will provide baseline information about the state of our urban forest, develop a long-term vision, and adopt tangible goals for management and growth of our urban forest. This strategy is necessary to help preserve the urban forest, establish acceptable canopy coverage and forest health targets, and achieve tangible goals while managing challenges. Detailed info about the strategy is available on Let’s Talk Parksville. We are asking the public to participate in a survey to help shape the urban forest vision and strategic directions for the strategy. The survey will be open until October 22 and accessible from Let’s Talk Parksville.

    Parksville’s urban forest includes all trees, vegetation and soil spanning parks, streets, existing forests and other ecosystems, agriculture lands, and private property. The urban forest is an important community resource integral to the character of the City. Trees are living assets that provide numerous benefits to the community such as capturing rainwater, cleaning air, shading, and cooling streets and buildings, promoting economic growth by attracting tourism, and reducing energy use costs including heating and cooling. The urban forest also supports our physical and mental health and wellbeing. You may have experienced these benefits during the pandemic, while walking in your neighbourhood or exploring the forested areas in and around Parksville.

    The urban forest is facing challenges from climate hazards, urbanization, and declining forest health. The increase in the number of western redcedar throughout the City is a prime example of the impacts of warmer, drier summers affecting the health and species composition of our native forests. The City’s resources have been stretched to manage the volume of dead, dying and high-risk trees.

    Parksville also needs to accommodate a growing population, which means new housing and infrastructure are being built in areas once forest. Rarely can individual or small groups of trees that grew up in a forest be retained when development occurs because they are vulnerable to winds once exposed. In these areas, the trees that are planted in new yards, parks and along streets will form the future forest canopy.

    The urban forest strategy will provide direction for the City to address these challenges while at the same time looking at the opportunities to achieve the community’s vision for Parksville’s future urban forest. We encourage our residents to participate. Completion of the strategy is targeted for March 2022.

  • Updates

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    September 15, 2021

    Phase 1 – Public Engagement

    Public engagement for the Parksville Urban Forest Strategy is currently underway. Engagement objectives for this project are to:

    • Inform the public about:
      1. The status of the urban forest
      2. The role of the urban forest in the community, including the unique economic, environmental, and social value of Parksville’s urban forest
      3. How the City balances tree protection, removal, and replacement
      4. The challenges for urban forest management, particularly due to pressure from development and climate change
    • Involve the community in developing a long-term vision for the urban forest, capturing the community’s perspective on the City’s urban forest identity, culture, and aspirations
    • Consult with the community to identify opportunities to preserve and protect, grow, and enhance the urban forest
    • Build community awareness, support, and advocacy for the urban forest and Urban Forest Strategy

    We want to hear from you!

    Visit the tabs above to:

    • Take the online survey
    • Share your ideas
    • Share urban forest locations of value and locations needing improvement

    Public engagement for phase 1 will be available until October 22, 2021

Page last updated: 17 December 2021, 09:29