Last Tuesday, November 24th, the City of Ottawa held an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) workshop. Members of community organizations, community associations, and everyday Ottawa residents were able to voice their opinions and concerns regarding the establishment of a new UFMP. The session began with welcomes from Martha Copestake, Forester – Planning Land Use & Natural Systems, and David Chernushenko, Councillor for Capital Ward, the City of Ottawa. This was followed by a presentation and Q&A session from the lead of the consulting firm. This general presentation covered topics such as the importance of a diverse urban forest canopy, as well as what steps the consulting firm will take to ensure Ottawa’s trees are protected. The project study area and timeline was also outlined:
During the Q&A session, attendees asked for clarification on the consulting firm’s presentation, as well as if certain topics were being considered in the new plan. Highlights from the welcome, presentation, and Q&A can be found on the @TreeOttawa Twitter page as we were live tweeting the event. Attendees raised concerns about how many native trees will be planted and protected, whether overhead wires will be a problem when protecting tall trees, how involved with the National Capital Commission (NCC) the consulting firm will be, and many more topics.
After the Q&A session, the group was split into arbitrary groups to work together on the City’s workbooks. Questions asked in the workbook include:
- What do you value most about the trees in Ottawa’s urban and suburban areas?
- In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges facing trees in Ottawa’s urban and suburban areas?
- In your opinion, what opportunities exist to better support trees and the urban forest in Ottawa’s urban and suburban areas?
- What could the City do to help you (or your organization) better support trees and the urban forest in Ottawa?
- What contributions might you (or your organization) be able to make to better support trees and the urban forest in Ottawa?