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So far more than 30,000 trees have been planted in Vaughan

In pursuit of sustainability, 307 new trees to ‘beautify’ Islington Avenue streetscape

Vaughan is planting 307 trees to “beautify” the Islington Avenue streetscape and bolster its commitment to environmental sustainability.

These trees will be added to 32,931 others already planted in the community. 

“In the past three years, the city has planted approximately 10,977 trees each year,” the city told York Region Media. “This number includes the replacement of 5,321 city trees, in addition to 5,656 assumed trees through developments.”

At the same time, the city “continues to seek additional tree planting opportunities” to “enlarge” its tree canopy.

In June, Vaughan joined a growing list of cities around the world, including at least 31 municipalities in Canada, that have declared or officially acknowledged the global climate emergency.

This has made planting trees part of the city’s planning as outlined in the 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan. 

Heritage district

These new trees will be situated at the entrance of the Kleinburg-Nashville Heritage Conservation District and at the gateway for both the historical village of Kleinburg and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua explained.

“We are grateful to generous organizations such as Tree Canada and CN, who offer support and recognize the value in creating green communities,” Bevilacqua added.

In March, the nonprofit Tree Canada and the Canadian National Railway announced the launch of CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up, an initiative to provide more than $500,000 in funding for community greening projects across Canada.

Indeed, Vaughan received its $25,000 share, which will be going to the Islington Avenue Streetscape, spanning from Major Mackenzie Drive to Pennon Road.

“The funding received pays for approximately 40 to 50 of the 307 trees that will be planted. Also, as per the funding agreement, the city will match Tree Canada’s contribution toward the completion of the project,” the city told York Region Media. 

Asked if there was any delay in planting these trees since Vaughan received the money last year, the city said it "broke ground for this project in May 2019, following the protocolled tendering process, which took place near the end of 2018.”

Despite efforts to plant trees, the Kleinburg Area Residents Association (KARA) expressed frustration over Vaughan’s declared climate emergency yet the lack of replacement of some trees.

KARA was concerned about the city cutting some “infested” trees but not replacing them.

“First, City of Vaughan cuts down some infected trees in Kleinburg, then leaves a mishmash of stumps for years as a symbol of their systemic ineptitude,” KARA wrote in an email to York Region Media. 

However, in response, the city said, “Trees on residential boulevards are first priority.”

The city also said with its current planting program, "trees on residential boulevards are generally replaced the following operating season, after inspection. It is expected that all residential locations will receive a tree in 2020, as the program continues into next year.”

So far, Vaughan has planted 256 trees in Kleinburg since 2016 and its strategy has focused on tree replacement. Also, in the past three years, 95 infested ash trees have been removed in Kleinburg.

Sustainable city

While Vaughan is currently about 40 per cent green space, the city's "ultimate goal" is to build a low-carbon economy to make a "sustainable city.”

So far, Vaughan has completed a comprehensive tree inventory on city properties that identifies individual boulevard trees and naturalized areas as forest inventories.

What’s next? The city said it’s also “preparing a report, to be completed in 2020, on the Comprehensive Tree Maintenance Strategy.”

“An Asset Management Plan for Urban Forests is also pending for 2021, which is to follow on the 'One Tree at a Time: Expanding the Urban Forest Report,' ” the city said.

Al-Shibeeb, Dina. "So Far More Than 30 000 Trees Have Been Planted In Vaughn." Vaughn Citizen. 26 Oct 2019. https://www.yorkregion.com/new...

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