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

Three Ashcroft RCMP constables receive Award of Valour

Highest award for a B.C. police officer given for heroic actions during 2018 mudslides

Ashcroft council receives winter road maintenance update

Council also votes to enter a float in this year’s Santa Parade

Cache Creek council report

Issues at Cache Creek water treatment plant are a big concern

The Rundown: Clinton News

High speed internet in Clinton hits a roadblock, and more from recent Clinton council meeting

Clinton-area author draws on own experiences for her books

Dorothy Jepp grew up on High Bar First Nation and writes the books she wanted to see as a child

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

65-million-year-old triceratops fossil arrives in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a Triceratops prosus

B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read