Council approves increasing tree canopy
Thank you for your time and willingness to take part in the Tree Canopy engagement project. We are so thankful for the very positive response rate that we received and the many comments and ideas you shared. This valuable feedback was instrumental. It provided important support in the staff report and presentation to Council.
You shared with us some important themes during this consultation. You told us to:
- Focus on a balanced approach to urban tree management that uses both short term and long term measures.
- Take an equity approach and support growth by investing in areas of the City where the tree canopy percentage is lowest.
- Continue the existing planting programs on private properties. Create new resident-led opportunities with City support.
- There were also lots of comments about the need for greater tree protection and a policy review for trees on private and public properties.
Council has supported and approved a tree canopy target of 30% in each Ward by 2050 and a target of 33% across the City by 2070. This targeted approach to grow the tree canopy over time will involve new tree planting, as well as the maintenance of existing trees. We will now review existing tree conservation processes in the City. This will include a review of existing protection bylaws, policies and requirements for tree planting. We will report back to Council with preliminary findings by the end of 2022. We will also develop ward-specific action plans and an overall implementation plan to support a detailed funding request in the 2023 budget.
We will continue to report back in five-year intervals with an update on Kitchener’s Urban Forest Strategy. The first progress report will come back to Council for review in 2025, to determine if we should consider increased targets.
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This consultation has concluded.