What is happening
New Westminster has one of the lowest tree canopy cover compared to other cities in Metro Vancouver. Through the development of its Urban Forest Management Strategy in 2016, and the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, the City has prioritized the protection, maintenance and growth of the urban forest towards increasing the City’s tree canopy cover from 18 percent to 27 percent by 2030.
To help advance this target, the City of New Westminster was recently awarded $50,000 by Tree Canada to participate in their 2022 National Greening Program. The Program funds mass seedling plantings across Canada where there is a need for reforestation or afforestation to help contribute to a future with cleaner air, soil and waterways. The funding will be used to plant up to 25,000 native tree and plant seedlings in four of New Westminster’s natural areas including the north and south portions of Queen’s Park, Hume Park and Glenbrook. The current schedule anticipates planting to commence in two phases:
February 22 to April 1, 2022- Queen’s Park North and South (12,230 seedlings)
Late August to Early September 2022- Hume Park and Glenbrook Ravine (10,600 seedlings)
Many of the trees in the city’s natural areas are of similar age and species which could leave a significant gap in the tree canopy if they all reach end-of-life within the same timeframe. Planting diverse seedlings in natural areas today not only improves biodiversity, soil health, and air quality, but also ensures there are forests for future generations to explore and enjoy.