Our City, Our Trees, Our Responsibility
Trees are so much more than a pretty thing to look at. They give us shelter, shade, oxygen, and send into the air sweet fragrances. They sequester CO2, store CO2, soak up rain water, reduce the stress of waste water on our systems, and decrease our energy bills. Scientific studies have demonstrated time and again that trees reduce stress, and that activity in nature will decrease the prevalence of many modern diseases. To learn more about the research on urban green space and psychological wellbeing you can begin with the 2016 paper “Does green space matter? Exploring relationships between green space type and health indicators.”
Why is it then, that trees are not prioritized within the city framework? You could spend many hours trying to answer this question, but one main reason is that you can’t financially valuate the benefits that trees give us. That is, until now.
Ecology Ottawa’s million tree initiative has our own online tree map! This map allows you to add a tree, of any species, any size, and you can then see how that tree interacts with the environment. You will see how much energy you are saving on your bill, how much carbon it is sequestering, and you will also be able to add photos of that tree, and tell stories in the form of a blog! The purpose of this map is to show citizens and decision makes how important our urban forest is.
If you took a tree home from one of our tree giveaways this year, then your tree should already be on the map! As it grows we encourage you to update your tree’s information on the map to accurately represent the diameter, height, age, etc. of the tree and make the statistics generated by the map as realistic as possible.
So check out the Great Ecology Ottawa tree map, look at the trees added, and consider adding your own. Not only will you learn how important your tree is, you will be showing your support for trees!
You can now add or update your adopted tree using compatible iOS and Android devices. Download the OpenTreeMap app by clicking on the buttons below: