Mount Douglas Park is home to part of Saanich’s urban forest. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich starts reserve fund to enhance municipality’s urban forest

Funds will go to planting more trees support urban canopy growth, outreach

Saanich council has approved the creation of a new reserve fund to support the District’s trees and ecosystems.

During the Monday night meeting, council voted in favour of a bylaw creating a reserve fund for the District’s urban forest.

“We value and appreciate our urban forest as a vital part of our community,” Mayor Fred Haynes said.

He pointed out that the reserve fund’s establishment is indicative of the District’s dedication to protecting trees and enhancing Saanich’s natural environment.

READ ALSO: Updated tree protection bylaw could cost Saanich up to $50,000 more annually

The municipality’s preexisting Urban Forest Strategy includes long-term goals to ensure the sustainability of the forested areas in parks, private and commercial lands, along roadways and in any open spaces throughout the community. The reserve fund will support the goals outlined in the plan.

The Urban Forest Strategy includes supporting the growth of the urban canopy, creating and enforcing urban forest guidelines, taking inventory of the forested land, developing an operations program while engaging with the community and strengthen the tree protection bylaw.

Council has already taken steps to strengthen the tree protection bylaw. Following council’s approval of the amended bylaw in early January, it was determined that the new rules would take effect on Feb. 5. The changes include an increase in the number of replacement trees required when one is cut down – the number of replacements depends on the reason for the removal.

If replacement trees cannot be replanted on the property, owners can pay the District to plant replacements elsewhere. These funds, along with the fines from violations to of the bylaw and donations from the public, go into the reserve fund.

Further upgrades to the tree protection bylaw are expected in 2020.

READ ALSO: Saanich strengthens tree protection bylaw, increases required replacement trees

The money from the new reserve fund will allow more trees to be planted in Saanich, support further educational and stewardship programs to be planned and permit the purchase of materials needed to meet the municipality’s forestry goals.

Nathalie Dechaine, manager of community development and business systems, noted she is “very excited for both the residents and the urban forest in Saanich.”

She feels the reserve fund will play a key role in helping the District meet its goals.

“This decision represents so much potential to support partnering with our community to grow and enhance the Urban Forest, which garners so many benefits.”


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon fishing closures won’t save the whales, say critics

Federal government accused of going after salmon fishery as ‘low hanging fruit’

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

Teams finalized in last push before Pan Am Cross Country Championships

The competition is taking place at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford on Feb. 29

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Shopping cart collector at B.C. Costco awarded $583,000 after getting pinned by car

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when a driver backed into him in the parking lot

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Most Read