- GUFF is very happy that our new Forestry Manager is hired and running his department. But, the department does not have the full complement of staff. Our forest is both growing and aging at a greater pace, placing more demands on the department. Will you support full funding for the Urban Forest Management Plan and the Arborist Crew in the next budget cycle? Why or why not.
Yes I will support the full funding of the management plan and hiring of the crew. Given the fact that our forests are aging and growing along with the unpredictable weather patterns, it’s important to plan for future replacement of our urban forests.
- 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.
Yes I would support developing a shade policy especially in parking lots, parks and streetscapes. Shade is a vital to a healthy community both to the people that live here as well as other plants and ground cover.
- There is currently no recognition or protection of trees that are exceptionally large, old or have a significant history in the City. Will you support and advocate designating and protecting Heritage Trees? Why or why not.
I think it’s important to protect all of our cultural heritage including our older trees. There will have to be an assessment though on those trees that pose a safety hazard to the public.
- The City has begun an inventory of trees in our urban forest (species, size, health, etc.), but trees are not given value as “assets” or “green infrastructure.” Will you support and advocate for a comprehensive inventory of trees in the City that assigns a dollar value to the trees (using currently available computer programs that compute the dollar value of ecological services provided by trees)? This value would then be used in the assessment of the cost of proposed city projects. Why or why not.
I would support such an initiative to which I believe has already started in our parks. Extending it to other public spaces makes sense.
- City Council passed a tree by-law in 2010 which requires permits for removing large trees on properties over half an acre in size (.2 ha). This tree by-law only covers about 6% of privately owned properties within the City. It does not cover city trees, institutional trees or the trees on small private properties where the majority of our urban forest exists.Will you support and advocate for expanding the existing tree by-law to cover all private properties in Guelph? Why or why not.
I think I would need more information about the reasons for removing healthy trees on private property. 6% coverage seems very low but extending it could be costly so would like to study that a bit more.
- Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation is now eating its way through our ash trees. The ash inventory is almost complete and an EAB plan has been adopted by council. Do you support full flexible funding for this initiative so the amount of money needed for injecting, removing and replanting is available as needed in a timely manner? Why or why not.
Wherever possible we should be replanting ash trees that have been destroyed. Would have to look at the costs of injecting but certainly this is a disaster and we need to find the funding to adequately address the problems.