Talk Trees in Port Coquitlam This Summer
The City of Port Coquitlam is inviting the community to talk trees this summer as it launches a review of its tree policies and regulations.
Over the next two months, the city will be asking residents, property owners and developers their opinion on how Port Coquitlam should be managing its trees now and in the future. Opportunities to provide feedback include an online survey – with a chance to win a $100 Visa gift certificate – and discussions with city staff at the Farmers Markets in Leigh Square each Thursday and other upcoming community events.
“Port Coquitlam is a growing community, but we’re also a community that prides ourselves on our beautiful natural setting – and that includes trees,” noted Mayor Greg Moore. “As we plan for the future, we need to ensure we are balancing growth and the benefits it brings with the other aspects of our community that we value.”
Port Coquitlam’s urban forest includes about 5.6 million trees on all private and public property, including streets, parks and conservation areas. About 45 per cent of those trees is on public land, with the remainder on private property.
The city’s current tree canopy (the area covered by trees) is 23.8 per cent, but that will decline over time if the city doesn’t change how it manages trees. If that happens, the community would see fewer of the benefits that trees bring, such as:
- Creating shade and privacy
- Conserving energy (heating and cooling)
- Absorbing sound
- Filtering out airborne pollutants
- Controlling erosion and stormwater runoff
- Providing bird and wildlife habitat
- Mitigating climate change (removing carbon dioxide from the air)
- Connecting people with nature and creating a sense of calm and well-being
Trees also enhance the community’s natural beauty – an enduring source of PoCo Pride.
“There is plenty of current research that shows trees play an important role in making our communities more liveable, healthy and resilient to the effects of climate change,” said Cllr. Laura Dupont, chair of the city’s Healthy Community Committee. “We look forward to hearing what the community has to say about our trees.”
The management of trees in Port Coquitlam is currently addressed by the tree bylaw, Official Community Plan and various planning strategies. As part of the city’s long-term planning work this year, staff have been looking at research and leading practices in other cities in Metro Vancouver and beyond for ideas to encourage the planting of trees and to better protect and manage trees.
The online survey at www.portcoquitlam.ca/talktrees, accessible until Sept. 30, provides information about the options being considered and then solicits feedback. Respondents will be entered into a draw for a $100 Visa gift card.
Those interested can also talk to staff at the weekly Farmers Markets and at civic events such as the Cinema Under the Stars on Aug. 4, Music in the Square on Aug. 13, and the Canada 150 celebration on Aug. 26.
The City anticipates the updated bylaw and policy changes will be completed by the end of the year and considered by Council in early 2018.
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Web & Communications Technician
City of Port Coquitlam