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Council to review ‘Adopt-a-Tree’ policy

Details on how an ‘Adopt-a-Tree’ program could get under way quickly in the County, are being presented at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Emily Cowan, Grants and Special Projects Co-ordinator, is to present the report to councillors that could allow volunteers and agencies to plant trees on public lands.

At the October meeting of Committee of the Whole, council directed staff to report on expediting the program.

“By creating a simple policy which allows citizens to plant trees on public properties and right-of-ways, the County can continue to grow its tree canopy,” Cowan notes.

The policy would allow mutual approval of site and tree species, indemnify the County from liability during planting and maintenance, allow memorial plaques and ensure the tree is cared for by the resident or agency for the first two years.

“There are agencies which will provide low-cost seedlings and facilitate planting on municipal property with volunteers,” states Cowan. “Staff believes the Tree Policy Ad Hoc Committee would be best placed to ensure the tree policy includes taking advantage of programs… and includes provisions for organizing such initiatives.”

In October, Lise Bois, a member of the PEC Horticultural society, Tree the County and PEC Field Naturalists, as well as the Ad Hoc Tree Policy Advisory Committee, made deputations to the Committee of the Whole, encouraging council to create a committee to increase and manage the County’s tree canopy.

Boise noted the community’s desire to mitigate climate change by increasing and managing trees and noted several Adopt-A-Tree programs throughout the province and nation to expedite the process.

Trees would be chosen from a list of species indigenous to the County, (and others recommended) and ensure a mix of trees to avoid eradication due to a single species disease.

Residents, or agencies would agree to care for trees planted for a minimum of two years to give it the best chance of survival, then the municipality would take over care of the tree.

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