Alberta Mirror

Monday, October 3, 2022

Edmonton city councilors are considering new bylaw to save trees on private land

Alberta

Key takeaways: 

  • Edmonton seeks to add 2 million trees to its entire urban canopy.
  • Edmonton has 380,000 trees on the boulevard and in public open areas.

The City of Edmonton is contemplating ways to save trees on private land as it works toward adding two million more trees to its urban forest.

At a meeting Tuesday, the council’s urban planning committee discussed making a bylaw to control the reduction of trees on private property. 

According to a committee statement, the city considers the urban forest a “notable municipal asset,” which delivers “many environmental, ecological, economic and social advantages to Edmontonians,” according to a committee report. An evaluated 380,000 trees exist on boulevards and in open areas.

Read more: Alberta to lift remaining COVID-19 constraints

The City of Edmonton is contemplating ways to save trees on private land as it works toward adding two million more trees to its urban forest

Coun. Aaron Paquette put forward a motion that the administration outline ways the city can reach its goal of adding two million trees, including the possibility of drafting a private property tree bylaw.

The committee heard from some people who back the idea of a private tree bylaw and others who dislike the idea. Kristine Kowalchuk with the Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition provoked councilors to adopt a new bylaw to save trees, which she stated would have multiple benefits. 

“Trees do vital work in mitigating weather change, cleaning the air, cooling the city, helping to control drought and flooding,” Kowalchuk said. “They also contribute significantly to Edmontonians’ physical and mental health and are important to the beauty of our city.” 

Don Tolsma, a Canadian Home Builders Association director, said he doesn’t think the city should submit a bylaw to regulate tree removal.

Also, the president of Timber Haus Developments, Tolsma, said they try to keep mature trees as feasible, which are highly valued by most of their customers, but he would fight a bylaw that involves trees on private land.

Source – cbc.ca

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