Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2021 (255 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As I approach the 10th anniversary of my election to city council, I am struck by the evolution in thinking on certain items which periodically come before council. One of these subjects is the importance of protecting Winnipeg’s tree canopy.
When I was first elected, there was considerable pressure to sell off city green spaces. Recent debates now highlight council’s desire to protect and enhance our tree canopy.
Mayor Bowman deserves credit for starting up the Million Tree Challenge and my colleague, Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) has, for many years, been a leader in fighting for greater budget allocations to protect the city’s trees.
I am proud of the financing I have provided over the years to support tree planting initiatives in St. Vital. In 2015, Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West) and I arranged funding to deal with the Schubert chokecherry scourge that affected large parts of River Park South.
During this term of office, I have continued this support, with contributions to the Kingston Crescent Residents Association, for the addition of trees to both Kingston Crescent and Norfolk Parks in 2019, as well as in Royalwood, where residents, led by Judy Cottick, planted trees near the Louis Riel Sr. Trail.
Financing was also provided to the Kingston Row Boulevard Group, which created a tree stand in the summer of 2021 after a traffic calming plan created new green space out of a former roadway.
I am pleased to announce that I have set aside $10,000 next year to allow city staff to increase tree planting in Brentford Park, near the Meadowood area.
In recent years, the city has also stepped up its efforts to preserve and enhance our trees. New infill guidelines will also provide some protection for trees where new housing is being built. This was a long-time concern of the Glenwood Neighbourhood Association.
Trees will continue to come down for certain projects but there are now requirements for replanting, to replace lost trees. A prime example of this was the much-needed expansion of the Dakota Community Centre. It required some removal of trees,but there were also large-scale replanting requirements.
While the City continues to battle Dutch elm disease and the emerald ash borer, I am pleased that we are working with local residents to restore our tree canopy for future generations.
St. Vital ward report
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.