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This article was published 22/5/2018 (541 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
While the Winnipeg Jets were battling in Game 7 against the Nashville Predators on May 10, a group of dedicated residents set their PVRs and chose to come together to discuss one of the most pressing issues in River Heights-Fort Garry — protecting our trees.
At the inaugural meeting of the River Heights-Fort Garry Tree Working Group, more than 15 passionate citizens gathered at the River Heights Site of the Corydon Community Centre. It was two hours-plus of conversation on how we can all work together to preserve the tree canopy that is such a defining element of our ward. Members of the local master gardeners’ group as well as the Friends of Enderton Park were represented in the crowd, along with many interested individuals from around the neighbourhood.
We were grateful to be joined by the city’s forester Martha Barwinsky and executive director of Trees Winnipeg Kerienne La France who both spoke with us about the challenges and opportunities our local elms and ash trees are facing from Dutch Elm disease (DED) and the emerald ash borer (EAB).
As we are dealing with the infection and removal of many our senior trees, it’s crucial that we work to diversify our canopy with a variety of different species of trees to avoid a similar situation to what we are currently facing with the elms and ashes.
Both the City of Winnipeg and Trees Winnipeg work hard to protect the health of our existing trees but know that ongoing and sustained success is only possible with the engagement and help of residents like you.
I was proud to earmark $50,000 to fund projects and ideas determined by this group and we began to discuss how the community feels we can best use this money in the most effective ways. Ideas suggested ranged from community orchards to education campaigns on awareness of symptoms of tree diseases, to injections for DED, to rebates on expedited removal or replanting, among many others.
We are already planning a follow-up meeting for June to further focus on solutions and continue discussing the group’s ideas. Sign up for our E-Bulletins at orlikow.ca to get the details directly to your inbox.
In the meantime, if you weren’t able to make it to our first meeting or hadn’t heard about the working group before now, please feel free to call me at 204-986-5236 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your ideas or learn more about how to get involved.
Everyone has a different reason that our trees are important to them — from protecting our environment to an emotional connection to their childhood to simply loving the beauty of our green-lined streets. Whatever your reason, I encourage you to get involved today and ensure they’ll be here — and healthy — for years to come.
River Heights - Fort Garry city council ward report
John Orlikow is the city councillor for River Heights - Fort Garry.