Between Sept. 22’s celebration of Canada’s National Tree Day and Tree Appreciation Day on Nov. 4, the City of Victoria wants to reach its goal of planting 5,000 trees before the end of the year through their grant program funding residents to plant on their private property.
Before the deadline of Oct. 31, residents of Victoria can apply for a grant of up to $1,000 for a group of 10 residents to plant a minimum of 10 trees on their private property. The funding will go towards the trees, supplies such as stakes, deer fencing and mulch, and the hiring of a landscape or arborist professional to teach residents or plant the trees themselves. A non-profit partner is required to receive the funds, so coordination with a local neighbourhood organization is recommended.
DYK? As a part of the UNECE #TreesinCitiesChallenge, grant funding is available to plant on private property. In partnership w/ a non-profit, #yyj residents can apply. Over 80 trees have been planted with this grant. Apply by Oct. 31: https://t.co/eUqAF1ET3n #NationalTreeDay 🌳 pic.twitter.com/TEs450s0SP
— City of Victoria (@CityOfVictoria) September 22, 2021
“We’ve seen a really great uptake so far,” said City of Victoria food systems coordinator Alex Harned. Last year, the Vic West Community Association, coordinated by community member Patti Parkhouse, successfully applied for eight grants from the city and planted more than 80 trees as a result, Harned said.
The city is once again promoting the initiative with September’s return of the fall tree planting season, she said. “It’s really a focus on a higher level to encourage citizens to plant trees on private property to help support the urban forest … there’s no too small of an action you can take.”
Mayor Lisa Helps adopted the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Trees and Cities challenge on Jan. 1, 2020. Despite coming from a European commission, the challenge is global in its scope and will provide some funding for participating municipalities until its completion in 2022. Victoria is the sole Canadian participant in the challenge, said Harned. Given COVID pandemic restrictions, the City of Victoria’s plans for urban walking tours and workshops surrounding tree planting were replaced with the grant program for enhancing private properties with trees.
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