Greener space, healthier place. HAT launches Urban Forest project in Greater Victoria Area
Victoria, BC – July 17th, 2015. Unfortunately, tree cover in the CRD has recently declined at an alarming rate. In response, Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is launching an Urban Forest Good Neighbours Project to help private landowners care for their trees and find solutions to tree-related problems.
While its no surprise that trees are beneficial for the birds and bees, did you know they also improve the quality and sustainability of our beautiful city. Trees in urban areas can increase property value and curb appeal, their canopy can reduce power bills, clean our air, provide protection from sound and light pollution, and improve overall physical health and well-being.
The Greater Victoria area hosts an incredible diversity of spectacular trees that line our streets, enrich our city parks and bring life to our very own backyards. Unfortunately with increasing urban development, we are replacing green space with hardened impervious surfaces that don’t provide the important ecosystem services that trees provide.
A recent mapping study by HAT revealed the anticipated result of 6 years of significant tree cover loss across the 13 municipalities in the Regional District. It was additionally concluded that over 6 years (2005 – 2011), 1500 hectares of impervious surface replaced previously green spaces. Impervious surfaces essentially do the opposite of trees; increasing water runoff, trapping heat and concentrating pollution in waterways, and further exacerbating the loss of tree cover in the CRD. Most tree loss in Greater Victoria is occurring on private property, leaving a huge role for private landowners to care for their existing trees as well as plant new trees.
Trees in our city can provide low maintenance, drought tolerant and aesthetically pleasing mosaics that colour our region for generations to come. It is now critical that we promote and protect tree cover in our urban city to connect green spaces and provide habitat corridors for important wildlife.
HAT is working to bring urban forests to the forefront of community awareness through our Good Neighbours Program aimed to help local landowners meet their property goals.
Learn more about the trees in your neighbourhood by contacting HAT for information on upcoming Urban Forest Walk and Talks from local experts, join community planting projects for tips on tree planting and care, and sign-up for your own free, private land-care consultation.
We are looking for Good Neighbours throughout the urban area that are interested in how best to manage your land for the future as we aim to solve tree care troubles and plant the right tree for the right spot. Join our community of habitat stewards who pledge to care for the natural areas on their land through small acts of conservation!