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Town

Urban Forest/River Corridor Committee

The Urban forest/River Corridor Committee is a committee of Town Council made up of volunteers and one member of Council. We meet monthly and our meetings are open to the public.


What we do

The Committee communicates with Town Council/staff on issues regarding the protection and enhancement of urban of trees through conservation, planting and maintenance as well as issues which impact the water quality of the Mississippi River.

 One of the responsibilities of the UF/RCC is to work with Town Council to educate residents, developers and staff on the importance and value of urban trees and the river corridor. Also, the committee reviews and comments upon residential, commercial and industrial developments to evaluate their environmental impact and ensure that right tree is planted in the right place.


Programs

Residential Tree Planting Program:

Since 1998 the Town has made trees available to residents for residential planting. Each spring residents are able to register a request for a tree, select a tree from a list of available species and attend a tree planting workshop.  SLIDES

Commemorative Trees Program:

Residents wishing to commemorate specific people, events or occasions may have a tree planted through the Commemorative Tree Program.


The Benefits of Trees

Trees are one of nature’s most powerful energy savers and water purifiers! Urban forests have substantial benefits to the municipalities (storm water attenuation, air quality mitigation, tourism, health care costs, etc.), to residents (property value, energy conservation, etc.) and business (tree care companies, nursery industry, aesthetics of retail areas).

Below are some quick facts on the benefits of trees

1. Trees improve health:

  • Trees make the air more breathable by reducing particulate matter Foliage helps to settle out, trap and hold particulate pollutants (dust, ash, pollen and smoke) that can damage human lungs.
  • One large tree can provide a day’s oxygen for up to four people.
  • Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases and, in turn, replenish the atmosphere with oxygen.
  • Trees improve moods and emotions, and they create feelings of relaxation and well-being.
  • Trees provide privacy and a sense of security.
  • trees can act as buffers, absorbing a significant amount of urban noise.

2. Trees save energy:

Deciduous trees provide shade and block heat from the sun during hotter months. By dropping their leaves in the fall they let the sunlight shine through in the colder months.

  • Shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs. Carefully positioned trees can save 25 to 30 percent of energy consumption
  • Shade from trees over hard surfaces such as driveways, patios and sidewalks minimize landscape heat load.
  • Evergreens planted on the north sides of buildings can intercept and slow winter winds.

3. Trees add natural character to our cities and towns:

  • Provide us with colours, flowers, and beautiful shapes, forms and textures.
  • Trees add interest by changing with the seasons.
  • Trees and associated plants create habitat and food for birds and animals.

4. Trees increase property values

  • Healthy trees can add up to 20 per cent to residential property values

5. Trees reduce pollution

6. Trees conserve water and prevent soil erosion

  • Trees reduce surface runoff from storm water, and prevent soil erosion and sedimentation of streams.
  • Trees may reduce the effects of flooding
  • Trees increase ground water recharge to help make up for losses in paved areas.
  • Trees prevent wind from eroding soil.

7. Trees increase economic stability

  • Trees enhance community economic stability by attracting businesses and tourists.

Sources:

Tree Canada - The Benefits of Trees - https://treecanada.ca/resources/benefits-of-trees/
South Carolina Forestry Commission, www.state.sc.us/forest/urbben.htm
Colorado Tree Coalition, www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm#Large_tree
International Society of Aboriculture,  www.treesaregood.com/treecare/tree_benefits.aspx
Shannon Lindensmith, Georgina Garden Centre, Georgina, Ont.