As a result of a late-summer snow storm in September 2014, 50% of Calgary’s half a million City trees on public land were damaged. In an effort to repopulate and salvage Calgary’s trees, ReTree YYC was started! This innovative program focuses on building a strong and resilient urban forest on public and private land, while tailoring tree educational programs to each community’s specific needs. ReTree YYC will proactively plant street trees in all viable spaces with an overarching community design, which will make a marked impact on participating communities. This approach will pair tree planting with community-chosen tree education events, workshops, volunteer initiatives and information to increase the community’s value of and care for trees on both public and private land. Going forward, the NeighbourWoods program is now part of ReTree YYC.
The City has indentified 25 communities for 2016 and 25 communities for 2017. These communities were chosen based a variety of factors including damage from 2014 snow event, available tree canopy and community readiness. These communities were chosen by specifically targeting sites that are available for new tree planting opportunities. In 2016, the Ward 6 communities of Strathcona Park, Aspen Woods and Christie Park will participate in this program. These three communities were identified by Urban Forestry to capitalize on discovering opportunities for new tree planting sites to increase our tree canopy.
As Christie Park and Strathcona Park are more established communities, ReTree YYC will be looking for spaces that complement the existing forest while being sensitive to residents’ concern about more aggressive species, like poplars. Newer communities in West Strathcona Park and Aspen Woods will benefit from new trees to enhance the look and feel of these communities. These three communities share the same Community Association and uniting them in the ReTree YYC program in 2016 ensures tree planting is done together instead of separately across several years. There will be a comprehensive engagement process for all the communities as part of ReTree YYC and based on engagement results, complete communities or individual residents can opt-out if they do not feel the tree planting is appropriate for their areas.
The City is working on making available a map to citizens that will track progress. This map also features the option to see where all City trees are located. This will allow Calgarians to identify any City trees that are adjacent to their properties and handle tree concerns appropriately by contacting 311 if there is a City tree concern. To view the map or find out more information about the ReTree YYC program, visit calgary.ca/trees.
City-wide - 2015
• Between Parks and the ReTree YYC program, 7,488 trees were planted throughout the city and 98, 374 trees were assessed and/or pruned.
• The City has held four ReTree YYC fairs and attended numerous community events where over 1.2 million kilograms of mulch and over 800 trees where distributed to residents.
• The City increased the number of NeighbourWoods communities and planted over 700 trees in 29 communities across the city.
2015 lost tree replacement
• Aspen Woods
• Christie Park
• Cougar Ridge
• Discovery Ridge
• Signal Hill
• Springbank Hill
• Strathcona Park
• West Springs
2015 tree pruning
• Coach Hill
• Strathcona Park
2015 participating NeighbourWoods communities
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.