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.
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.
Bare Root Tree Planting Presentation - On May 5th, 2021, a virtual seminar was held outlining techniques for the planting and care of bare root trees.
Commemorative Trees Program:
Residents wishing to commemorate specific people, events or occasions may have a tree planted through the Commemorative Tree Program.
Through this program, the Town will assist families or groups who wish to have a bench installed, or a tree planted, in a Town location (park or street side) in remembrance or commemoration of the loss of an individual or in celebration of an anniversary.
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.
Gypsy Moth and the Summer of 2021
The populations of European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) seemed to intensify in the summer of 2020 in a broad area across Southern Ontario. But the signs were there that the populations were building before then, as forests in Southwestern Ontario were heavily defoliated in 2019. Gypsy moth can easily spread as egg masses that are laid on surfaces such as cars and campers. Once they hatch, the new larvae hang on silken threads and disperse locally by the wind. By the end of the feeding cycle in early July 2020, the damage was described by the Forest Health team at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) as “moderate - severe”.
The Eastern Ontario Model Forest, the Invasive Species Centre and the Early Detection & Rapid Response Network Ontario have partnered to prepare an Information Sheet on what to expect in 2021, and tips on what homeowners and woodlot managers can do to address egg masses.
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.