The City engaged members of the public to discuss biodiversity and natural areas at a public information session held online on September 16th, 2020. Fifteen members of the public participated in the information session. Members of the public also had the opportunity to highlight important places for biodiversity on an interactive online map. A total of 19 important locations were submitted by the public through the online map.
View the Presentation: Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy - Public Information Session (September 16, 2020)
Several themes emerged from these engagement events. Many participants highlighted the importance of natural and semi-natural areas found in the City’s parks to support biodiversity and the broader benefits they provide to residents. The importance of enhancing other areas in the city on public and private land to increase habitat was also discussed.
Ideas to enhance biodiversity range from planting more grassy areas with diverse shrubs and plants that support habitat for wildlife and pollinators, to providing more continuous habitat connections between green spaces across the city. Participants also indicated great interest in seeing the community more involved in initiatives to restore natural areas. Findings from the public engagement will be summarized in the Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy.
The Draft Biodiversity & Natural Areas Strategy was reviewed with the Environment & Climate Advisory Committee (May & September 2021) and the Environment & Climate Task Force (October 2021). The City also engaged First Nations in the development of the Strategy. The consultation process mirrored the City's Reconciliation Framework. The valuable feedback from the First Nations have been incorporated into the final document.
The Final Biodiversity & Natural Areas Strategy was presented to City Council on April 25, 2022 and subsequently approved.