The loss of mature trees in Ottawa’s residential neighbourhoods, and failure to replace them, has reached a crisis situation due to the intensity and rapid pace of infill housing, urban development, and climate change. City policies, by-laws, internal procedures, and enforcement practices intended to regulate tree removal and encourage tree replacement have not kept up. The result is a significant degradation of the urban environment that affects human health and hamper's the municipality's ability to adapt to the effects of climate change.
A new website, Tree Action Now, sponsored by the Greenspace Alliance and others, brings together three strategic actions on this issue:
- Use the Lost Trees of Ottawa site to map trees lost to natural or human causes, and share a photograph or personal memory of the lost tree. Also, share the map with your neighbours, friends, and community groups in person, by email and on social media.
- If you agree with our recommendations to amend the bylaw, please call or write city politicians and staff to say so: 22 Community Associations (including OSCA), the UoO Biology Department and 7 environmental NGOS have already signed on. During the next term of Council changes to the bylaw will come to a vote. The more politicians hear the voices of citizens, the more likely they are to agree that these recommendations are crucial.
- Ottawa is blessed with many active neighbourhood and virtual communities. Join one or more to contribute to the debate on why the loss Ottawa’s urban forest has reached crisis proportions, and should be high on the municipal election agenda.
- Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES): an Ottawa-wide discussion and action forum. Sign up email: info[at]lowertown-basseville[dot]ca
- The Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital: a regional forum. Sign up.
- Ecology Ottawa: working to make our city the green capital of Canada. Subscribe.
- BIG TREES of Kitchissippi: specific to Ottawa's Kitchissippi ward. Subscribe.