Editorial: Weigh in on importance of urban forest

Trees are a vital part of Oak Bay's character; have your say in how they're managed

As Oak Bay continues work on its Urban Forest Strategy, residents are urged to contribute their feedback through a community survey. The information will be used in conjunction with other sources to create draft recommendations about how Oak Bay should approach its urban forest – or trees – moving forward.

While at 33 per cent, Oak Bay’s tree canopy coverage is good compared to some other jurisdictions of a similar age, many of those trees are older and require, or will require, replacing. Pressures also come from development; while new trees often replace those removed for construction, they may take years to get to the same size.

“Oak Bay’s trees, green spaces and natural areas are a key part of our community’s identity but as our trees age and our community develops there will be changes in our urban forest,” notes Chris Hyde-Lay, parks manager for Oak Bay.

Increased canopy cover – the percentage of ground covered by leaf canopy – is one of Oak Bay’s objectives, Hyde-Lay says, suggesting greater tree replacement and a proactive tree planting program for both public and private land as important to achieving that goal.

“Given the changes we expect to see over the next 100 years, we need a plan to guide what we can do now to ensure that Oak Bay’s urban forest is a legacy for the next generation,” Hyde-Lay said.

A healthy urban forest is valuable on many levels. Not only is it a high-level indictor for human and environmental health, but it’s also key to the aesthetic values of the community. With that comes economic implications as parks and streetscape are among the key features that draw people to want to live and visit here.

In short, our trees are a vital part of what makes Oak Bay, well, Oak Bay.

How important are Oak Bay’s trees to you? And how should the municipality approach the future of its trees?   Let the district know. Your voice is crucial to the discussion.

 

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

Just Posted

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)
Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read