Guelph Urban Forest Friends is a local group that advocates for better protection of urban trees and canopy. We make delegations to City Council, hold events to raise awareness about the importance of urban trees, and distribute information about the many benefits of trees, and the threats to trees, through our web site.
We have serious concerns about the continued loss of mature trees in our City and hear frequently from upset residents about tree removals. We are submitting these questions to candidates for City Council and respectfully request your response by October 18. The responses we receive will be posted on our web site and e-mailed to our list of 500 supporters.
For further information, please check our website (www.guffguelph.ca) or contact us. Thank you for your response. GUFF
1. Currently all tree planting, maintenance and removal activities are the responsibility of the City’s Operations Department. Will you support and advocate for establishing an Urban Forest department headed by a forester with a degree in urban forestry? Why or why not.
I would support and advocate for establishing an Urban Forest department if the budget permits.
2. Shade is important for reducing the heat island effect and for reducing the risk of skin cancer. Will you support and advocate for establishing a shade policy which would set goals for shade coverage along streets/sidewalks, in parking lots and in parks? Why or why not.
I would support a shade policy it is actually disheartening to see all those empty parking lots.
3. There is currently no program in place to recognize or protect trees that are exceptionally large, old or have a significant history in the City. Will you support and advocate for a city program to be adopted during the next term of council aimed at designating and protecting Heritage Trees? Why or why not.
I agree to designation and protecting Heritage Trees but once again the budget would have to permit this.
4. Though the City has adopted a goal of 40% tree canopy coverage, information about tree canopy loss due to development, road construction, etc. is not being collected. Will you support and advocate for collecting publicly accessible data, funded in the next budget cycle, on the annual removal of mature trees and loss of canopy within the City? Why or why not.
I feel that we need to be made aware of the destruction of trees, it takes a long time to replace them.
5. The City does not have an inventory of trees in our urban forest (species, size, health, etc.), nor are trees given value as “assets” or “green infrastructure.” Will you support and advocate for an inventory of trees in the City, including the dollar value of the trees (using currently available computer programs that compute the dollar value of ecological services provided by trees)? Why or why not.
I would support an inventory of trees but once again I don’t believe our budget could support this.
6. City Council recently passed a tree by-law which requires permits for removing large trees on properties over half an acre in size. This tree by-law only covers a small percentage of properties within the City. Will you support and advocate for expanding the existing tree by-law to cover all properties in Guelph? Why or why not. Linda Murphy
I am still undecided on this, more info would be needed.