The City of Ottawa adopted its first ever Urban Forest Management Plan in 2017. This is the city’s first major push towards protecting Ottawa’s urban tree canopy at scale. If this plan were implemented to its fullest extent, it could change the face of our city. The more trees systematically planted and protected would bring Ottawa’s urban area closer to the needed 40% canopy cover required to decrease heat island effect and make our city more livable, vibrant and resilient.
Despite its promise, the Urban Forest Management Plan is at risk from budget pressures and implementation delays. A poorly funded plan, or one where improvements are not being actioned, will fail to protect -or grow- our urban forest. To follow through on the plan’s many important recommendations, city hall needs to prioritize sustained funding and direct action follow through.
We, the undersigned, are calling on Ottawa City Council to commit to protecting our urban forest by investing in the Urban Forest Management Plan, implementing all improvements made and committing to a 40% canopy cover target.