Mount Douglas Park is home to part of Saanich’s urban forest. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Mount Douglas Park is home to part of Saanich’s urban forest. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich starts reserve fund to enhance municipality’s urban forest

Funds will go to planting more trees support urban canopy growth, outreach

Saanich council has approved the creation of a new reserve fund to support the District’s trees and ecosystems.

During the Monday night meeting, council voted in favour of a bylaw creating a reserve fund for the District’s urban forest.

“We value and appreciate our urban forest as a vital part of our community,” Mayor Fred Haynes said.

He pointed out that the reserve fund’s establishment is indicative of the District’s dedication to protecting trees and enhancing Saanich’s natural environment.

READ ALSO: Updated tree protection bylaw could cost Saanich up to $50,000 more annually

The municipality’s preexisting Urban Forest Strategy includes long-term goals to ensure the sustainability of the forested areas in parks, private and commercial lands, along roadways and in any open spaces throughout the community. The reserve fund will support the goals outlined in the plan.

The Urban Forest Strategy includes supporting the growth of the urban canopy, creating and enforcing urban forest guidelines, taking inventory of the forested land, developing an operations program while engaging with the community and strengthen the tree protection bylaw.

Council has already taken steps to strengthen the tree protection bylaw. Following council’s approval of the amended bylaw in early January, it was determined that the new rules would take effect on Feb. 5. The changes include an increase in the number of replacement trees required when one is cut down – the number of replacements depends on the reason for the removal.

If replacement trees cannot be replanted on the property, owners can pay the District to plant replacements elsewhere. These funds, along with the fines from violations to of the bylaw and donations from the public, go into the reserve fund.

Further upgrades to the tree protection bylaw are expected in 2020.

READ ALSO: Saanich strengthens tree protection bylaw, increases required replacement trees

The money from the new reserve fund will allow more trees to be planted in Saanich, support further educational and stewardship programs to be planned and permit the purchase of materials needed to meet the municipality’s forestry goals.

Nathalie Dechaine, manager of community development and business systems, noted she is “very excited for both the residents and the urban forest in Saanich.”

She feels the reserve fund will play a key role in helping the District meet its goals.

“This decision represents so much potential to support partnering with our community to grow and enhance the Urban Forest, which garners so many benefits.”


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest man covered in blood on heels of significant Saanich crash into woods

Resident calls in home invasion in progress after crash

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

Victoria School for Ideal Education at 2820 Belmont Avenue is the second school in Greater Victoria with an active confirmed COVID-19 exposure. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Private school becomes second Greater Victoria school with COVID-19 exposure

Victoria School for Ideal Education follows Lakeview Christian School in Saanich

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Most Read