Climate Change Adaptation and Urban Reforestation in Delta, British Columbia
The Corporation of Delta is a leader in bringing the best professional arborists and urban foresters together to enhance urban forestry in a vital environmental community. For the complete story on innovation in action, please click here.
Creating a Legacy
“We need to leave a sustainable legacy in light of the 2010 Olympics, and that legacy needs to include planting thousands of trees', reeports Ken Kuntz, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture for Delta. With the guidance of Nancy McLean, Landscape Coordinator/Senior Planner, Delta has set a goal to plant 20,100 trees by the year 2010.
Delta's development bylaws support planting trees that will provide the greatest environmental benefits by mitigating rainwater runoff, reducing pollution, and reducing the urban heat island effect. “Large trees are vital to the urban landscape,” recommends Frank Van Manen, Delta's Urban Forestry Foreman, “Where there are no overhead restrictions, every effort should be made to plant trees that will attain a large size at maturity.”
Delta's urban trees are a success story because of political and community support. Everyone has taken an interest. “These community projects are successful on several levels,” explains Nancy McLean. “It's very rewarding to see businesses and residents caring about their neighbourhoods and actively taking part in improving the local ecology. As well as the obvious learning that comes with such projects, the kids involved, in particular, take away the message that they have the ability to change their environment for the better.”
It's all about the soil
“Soil volume is becoming a key issue as the climate changes,” notes Frank Van Manen. “The trees that become most stressed and challenged to survive will be those growing in limited supplies of quality growing medium.”
Van Manen stresses that no-one should be cost-cutting, at the soil level, when it comes to providing for new landscapes and boulevards. “This is truly where the greatest challenge will appear”, explains Van Manen, “Extending the life of new and existing landscapes will depend on whether or not they have an optimum mineral soil volume in which to develop and mature. The ability of a soil to absorb and retain moisture for optimum plant growth will become paramount to determining landscape success. Only then can we reasonably say we have been successful in providing real, and meaningful, carbon sinks.”
Posted August 2007