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In November 2016, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was put out for a consultant to create an Urban Forestry Master Plan. Bids closed on November 29, and at the next Committee of the Whole meeting on January 3rd, Council plan to award the contract to Kilgour and Associates Ltd. The cost is $35,000 and the plan will “assist the Parks Division in transitioning from reactive to proactive urban forest management and must be able to integrate tree management into other municipal plans, both within and externally to the Parks Division.” It will try to formalize where the Town should go in future in managing “maintained and unmaintained parks, green spaces, river corridors, road allowances, laneways, and buffers.”

Scope

Municipal Forestry Operations.  Includes tree planting, maintenance and removal operations, budgets, funding and staffing including a clear definition of roles and responsibilities

Tree Inventory – Includes evaluating current tree inventory with recommendations for improvements.

Tree Establishment Plan - Consider Community-wide buy-in and cooperation, species diversity and age class distribution, locations plus policies/guidelines for growing and managing quality urban forests on private development lands.

Urban Forestry Issues to be addressed:  Aging tree populations, invasive species, climate change, changing trends in native insects and diseases, and changing community demographics.

High Risk Trees - High risk trees are becoming an increasing problem due to the aging tree population. Consultant will make recommendations for a systematic approach for Tree Risk Assessment and provide a business case for a Tree Risk Assessment.

Standards, Procedures, Policies, and Public Tree By-law - Review to identify gaps in standards, procedures and policy and how these should be remedied.

Urban Forest Management Plan which will provide strategic direction to the Town and integrate urban forestry into other areas of municipal planning.  vic parkVictoria ParkThis covers urban forest on Town owned land plus “significant urban forest resources on larger private landholdings”. The plan would cover a five year period and be coordinated “with other management and landscape plans already developed for the Parks Division and the Building and Planning Department, including the Heritage Master Plan that provides guidance on the location and selection of trees in Heritage Conservation Districts with a goal of preserving the vitality of the streetscape.”

Development and Construction Communities.  Obtain input from Stakeholders such as Engineers, Landscape Architects, Arborists and Planners, and recommend strategies to ensure integration with future developments.

Business Case  - Develop a business case for sustainably managing the Town’s urban forest.  This will include an economic rationale for following this Urban Forest Management Plan and will be in a format that may be used as a presentation for Town Council.

Communications Plan - Develop a comprehensive communications plan to introduce and engage the public in commentary about the Plan.

Internal/External Stakeholder Input and Consultation - A comprehensive program of public consultation to provide citizens with an opportunity to voice their concerns and desires.  This includes “stakeholders” as well as the general public.  There will be two “Open House Public Consultation meetings”.

Project Management and Schedule

No specific member of Town Staff is named as managing the Project but Teresa Behan and Rory Quigley are named as contacts for more information so will presumably manage the consultant and the project.

The Final Report on the Management Plan is required to be submitted by July 4, 2017 and the Implementation Plan (also called the five-year Municipal Forest Action Plan) by August 8, 2017.

 

 

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