Written by Denise Deby.
A new initiative is taking root in Ottawa. Its goal: protecting and enhancing the city’s tree cover.
Tree Ottawa is a citizen-created program to plant, protect and promote trees and the places where trees grow. Housed at Ecology Ottawa, the program connects people to initiatives and resources for planting and caring for trees and tree habitats.
Tree Ottawa recognizes that trees are important. Trees mitigate climate change, reduce runoff and pollution, promote biodiversity, improve human health and well-being, and provide shade, recreation and food. Tree Ottawa also arises from concerns about threats to the city’s trees from extreme weather and climate change, damage from infill and development and the emerald ash borer.
Tree Ottawa’s plan includes:
- a goal of planting 1 million trees by 2017;
- an Adopt-a-Tree program to encourage people to sign up to protect existing trees;
- a Tree Map where people can mark and locate trees;
- guides to tree planting, tree care and native trees;
- links to information on existing tree initiatives and resources, including city programs and organizations such as Scouts Canada and Hidden Harvest Ottawa that are working to plant and protect trees;
- a Tree Ottawa Ambassador program, in which volunteers promote tree planting and Tree Ottawa.
Check the Tree Ottawa website for other ways to get involved.