Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry residents remain steadfast on the urban canopy as a budget priority. It is also a significant focus for ward based investments.
Highlights this year were the formation of Trees Riverview and Earl Grey Trees along with the support provided by our tree groups in Armstrong’s Point, Wildwood and more!
The preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget update adds $3 million of operating funding to the $37 million budgeted for trees in the multi-year balanced budgets adopted in March for a total of $40 million over the next three years.
At the Standing Policy Committee for Protection, Community Services and Parks this month we attempted to move up Tree Protection and Preservation bylaw work with a report back coming sooner in the new year.
Work at City Centre Community Committee laid the foundation of this budgetary move with this motion to create a tree planting donation program.
In 2021, the Winnipeg Urban Forest Strategy will be coming forward for Council consideration, and will provide a 20-year vision for our city’s tree canopy and develop policy, recommendations, and strategic actions to help protect, preserve, and grow the canopy well into the future. It will provide direction for all of Winnipeg’s urban forest, which includes vegetation, trees, soil, and associated natural processes across both public and private lands. Phase 1 of the Public Engagement process just recently wrapped up. For those who wish to follow along in the process and watch for other chances to help shape this strategy and see updates, please see here: https://engage.winnipeg.ca/urbanforest
“This budget confirms Council’s commitment to trees with an additional investment of $3 million to address the damage from the October 2019 storm,” said John Orlikow, Deputy Mayor. “Trees are a big part of what makes Winnipeg beautiful and they contribute to the character of our community. Working together and continued investment in trees will make sure our urban forest is here today and for generations to come.” The additional $3 million investment as part of the preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget Update builds on the investment of $29.2 million in the six-year $2.3 billion Capital Investment Plan. To face threats like Dutch Elm Disease and the Emerald Ash Borer, and to respond to the devastation of the October 2019 storm, proactive action is required through strong urban forestry management.
Along with the One Million Tree Challenge launched in 2019 by Mayor Brian Bowman, the City has put substantial efforts and funding into tree planting, tree pruning and removal, and disease control. Winnipeg’s tree canopy is a source of pride for Winnipeggers and the preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget update acknowledges the importance of trees to our community.
The City appreciates the strong partnership with Trees Canada and Trees Winnipeg as we work together on the One Million Tree Challenge, which aims to plant one million trees on both public and private property before Winnipeg’s population reaches one million residents.
The One Million Tree Challenge would not be possible without support from the private sector and not-for-profit community. To date, more than $1.25 million in donations has been received for the Challenge from partners like CN and Telpay, as well as numerous individual Winnipeg residents. Funds from CN and Telpay have been used for multiple tree planting and distribution events despite COVID-19 hampering the ability to host large community planting events. With CN donations, the City was able to plant 2,000 trees at Mazenod Park in Transcona, and has other plantings planned. Telpay hosted multiple tree giveaway events for residents this summer and looks to ramp up its involvement next year.
For more information on the One Million Tree Challenge, please visit: