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City wants urban forest appreciation to take root

The City of Duncan wants to raise awareness about Duncan’s urban forest and what it means to the city’s health. - Peter W. Rusland/file
The City of Duncan wants to raise awareness about Duncan’s urban forest and what it means to the city’s health.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland/file

City of Duncan staffers want the city's citizens to pay more attention to its trees.

And that's why they're holding a series of three free workshops starting March 10 on the city's existing urban forest and the city's current vision and strategy.

"Have you noticed some of the incredible trees in and around the City of Duncan? These urban trees are actually part of our urban forest," states a press release. "An Urban Forest is more than just trees and forest cover. It is a system which includes water, soil, vegetation, wildlife and natural processes that are all integral to ecological health."

The series of workshops targeted for landowners will raise awareness of benefits of urban forests, tree care basics, and management stories.

“The City of Duncan Council and Environment Committee have chosen to focus on public education on the urban forest as a top priority of the Urban Forest Strategy, as the role of the urban forest is so significant to issues like protecting local ecosystems, storm water management, and water and air quality,” said city planner Michelle Geneau.

In October, 2010 the City of Duncan commissioned a comprehensive study to assess and analyze the urban forest within its boundaries. The study reviewed the economic, social, and environmental values and benefits of the urban forest with an additional focus on the need for policy and management framework.

The resulting report, City of Duncan Urban Forest Strategy, saw a vision and strategy to maintain and sustain this urban forest, along with an exhaustive list of recommendations for implementation over the short-term and the long-term.

Among top priority recommendations identified were the need to raise awareness and educate the public on the value and benefits of trees and the urban forest, promote proper tree health, and encourage planting and retention of trees on private land.

The Urban Forest Strategy document and a recommended planting list is available for viewing at www.duncan.ca.

Workshops will take place: March 10 , 10 a.m. to 12 noon, at the Duncan Guides Hall; March 15, 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Cowichan Green Community on Duncan Street; March 22, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, at Travelodge Silver Bridge Inn.

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