Planning Master's students Kaitlin Webber, Melissa Le Geyt, Theresa O’Neill and Vignesh Murugesan have developed a practical guide on private tree protection and management. The project was created for PLAN 721 through a partnership with the Community, Recreation and Culture Services department at the City of St. Catharines, Ontario. The project was later made applicable for a national audience and was accepted to the CIP 2020 conference. Intended for planning practitioners in Canada, Guiding Urban Forestry Policy into the Next Decade: A Private Tree Protection & Management Practice Guide provides insight and recommendations to enhance urban tree canopies.
Trees are valuable assets for Canadian communities due to the environmental, ecological, public health, and social benefits they provide. As this Practice Guide demonstrates, trees located on private property play an important role in the overall health and well-being of a municipality’s urban forest, and will continue to do so as urbanization increases across the country. Therefore, private trees should be specifically included in tree-related policies and programs by municipalities. Although this study was limited to the geography of Ontario, recommendations provided can and should be adapted to suit the unique socio-political frame- work present in other provinces and territories.
The guide aims to provide planners and policymakers with an improved understanding of the legislative framework and current approaches to private tree protection and management in Ontario. It also highlights effective tools for protecting, managing, and increasing tree canopy coverage on private land. It is informed by interviews with municipal practitioners, and a review of policy documents and academic articles that pertain to municipalities in Ontario. However, findings and recommendations are applicable to municipalities across the country due to their shared responsibilities and challenges of protecting urban trees.
For more information please you're welcome to download the appendix to A Private Tree Protection & Management Practice Guide.