CiB pushes for an Ashcroft urban forestry plan

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom says the Village needs a plan to manage its trees properly.

Trees have always been an important part of the landscape on this planet and the lack of trees anywhere is immediately noticeable.

Just how important they are is constantly being redefined. From experience, we know that they are generally aesthetically pleasing and provide welcome shade. For centuries, certain species have been used to drain swamps so that land could be developed and to eliminate disease-carrying mosquitos.

As climate change mitigation becomes increasingly important, trees are recognized as absorbing harmful greenhouse gases and producing oxygen in their place.

Some Canadian municipalities are documenting their “green infrastructure” in an attempt to quantify their value and ensure their numbers and their health through strategic management that includes bylaws, policies and replanting programs.

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom is encouraging the Village to form a joint committee to develop an Urban Forestry plan for Ashcroft.

The group conducted their own tree inventory of the downtown area in 2012, but Andrea Walker says there is much more to do in terms of tree management.

Many cities have embarked on an Urban Forestry strategy,  said Walker.

“Ours doesn’t have to be a Cadillac model,” she said, “but we should know in advance where we can plant trees, how are we going to replace diseased or nuisance trees. If you have a plan, you know.

“Obviously, trees give us the oxygen we breathe, they clean the air, they give us shade, give us aesthetics. Think, where do people go on a hot day? To the park. Why? For the shade and the trees. What would it look like to drive down the street in a town without trees?”

She said urban forestry management is a large component of the national Communities in Bloom program and the lack of an overall plan by the Village has cost the Ashcroft group points every year.

Kamloops lost over 1,100 pine trees to pine beetle infestation. The city is working on its own Urban Forestry Plan. Trees improve residential property values, according to the draft plan, lowers the temperature around them as well as in nearby buildings, reduce storm runoff by capturing water on their leaves and absorbing the water through their roots, provide wildlife habitat for birds and other creatures, and offsetting climate change by capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide in their tissues. The plan states that one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air – the equivalent of 11,000 miles of car emissions.

Tree roots also stabilize hillsides and prevent the soil from moving.

Walker says it’s not enough to just plant a tree.

“We don’t have any native trees here,” she said, “but when you plant a tree you want to get something that won’t use a lot of water.”

She says a strategic plan would be a perfect fit to the Village’s new Water Conservation bylaw.

“The public needs education on what they can plant that won’t require a lot of water,” said Walker. “People often don’t pay attention to what they’re planting.”

Cedars and willows are “water suckers” she says. Junipers are not.

And then there are the local “nuisance” trees like the prolific Chinese elms and the messy cottonwoods. Kamloops has identified five species of nuisance trees in its draft plan.

A plan would also give some thought to the best places to plant trees.

The trees along Railway St. don’t have enough room to grow, she says. They’re surrounded by concrete, and there is concrete under their watering zone which is where the rainwater drips off the ends of the branches.

The group would also like to see a public works member trained in tree care.

“It will be expensive,” she says, “but they will be an asset to the town, just as the trees are.”

The proposed joint committee could start just by identifying nuisance trees to be replaced.

“All we want is to make our community a better place,” said Walker. “That’s the ultimate goal for CiB.”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Most Read