Good Neighbours 2015: Victoria's Urban Forest Project
Urban and rural trees keep our community healthy, but the reality is we are losing urban tree cover at a rapid pace. Below the level of trees, shrubs and native plants provide even more habitat for wildlife while also being attractive, low maintenance, and drought tolerant.
Watch this video of Stewardship Coordinator Jill talk about the importance of our local urban forest:
What is an Urban Forest?
Urban Forests are those green spaces that provide ecosystem services such as air filtration, water retention, shelter and recreation within human habitats. In our urban area, Urban Forests connect larger green spaces, providing corridors for movement of many species in a low maintenance, drought tolerant and aesthetically pleasing way.
Why Urban Forests?
Both at and below the level of trees, the plants that create Urban Forests provide habitat for wildlife while also being attractive, low maintenance, and drought tolerant. Urban and rural trees keep our community healthy, but the reality is we are losing urban tree cover at a rapid pace. Because of this loss, HAT is committed to promoting the protection and preservation of these ecologically and socially valuable areas.
Where can I find out more about the Urban Forest?
Check out the latest update about the program. Read the Guide to the 2015 Urban Forest Good Neighbours Project
You can also download our Land Cover mapping report to find out more about trends in the Capital Region’s urban forest.
What are Habitat Stewards?
Habitat Stewards are residents who pledge, in writing, to care for natural habitat on their land. This might mean removing invasive species, not using pesticides, or switching to organic fertilizers. Each property is different, and a visit from our Stewardship staff can tell you what steps you need to take – or recognize you for the outstanding work you have already done!
In 2013 Our Conservation Intern Paige signed up community leader Michael Simmons as a Habitat Steward for his conservation work in the community and on his shoreline property in Brentwood Bay. He works to create habitat on his land with features like bird and bat boxes, as well as landscaping with native plants.
How can I become a Habitat Steward?
Contact us to request a free land care package with resources on native plant gardening, tree care, composting, invasive species and more. You can also request a home visit from one of HAT Stewardship staff, who will walk your property with you and give you personalized land care advice.
How it works:
HAT staff will conduct a land care visit. Here, we take note of your hopes, needs, questions and concerns as well as provide our own understandings.
HAT staff will develop a land care prescription, which outlines what was gone over during the visit. The prescription provides you with both our own recommendations as well as a multitude of resources that will help to guide your future of land care.
We understand that land care is a process and that not all of our suggestions can be implemented immediately. However, following our visit, we will be in touch again to follow up on the successes and progress. If we feel as though you have taken the needed steps towards land care, we will provide you with a Habitat Steward sign for your house to celebrate the achievement.