A row of trees greet motorists in the median of Highway 19A on the southern approach to Parksville. (PQB News file photo)

A row of trees greet motorists in the median of Highway 19A on the southern approach to Parksville. (PQB News file photo)

City of Parksville releases update on urban forest strategy

Plans builds on input from the public and city staff

The City of Parksville completed the first phase of public engagement regarding an urban forest strategy in November.

Since, they have continued to work with Diamond Head Consulting Ltd. to draft the strategy, building on input from the public and city staff.

The city thanks those who visited the information on Let’s Talk Parksville, who shared their voices in the online survey, who contributed an urban forest location in the mapping tab, and who shared ideas on the ideas tab.

READ MORE: City of Parksville asks residents for input on urban forest strategy

The following are several key finding from the first phase of engagement:

• 18 per cent of survey respondents live on streets with few or no trees – 41 per cent of respondents prefer streets with large-sized trees of mixed species and spacing.

• The three most important urban forest benefits for survey respondents are creating habitat for plants and animals, providing clean water and clean air.

• The most important considerations for street tree selection identified by survey respondents were to maximize benefits, tolerance to climate change, and attractiveness to birds and pollinators.

• Respondents would like the city to prioritize planting trees in parks, streets, and major arterial roads.

• Tree loss has affected survey respondents – 66 per cent have been affected and the majority(74 per cent) ranked that impact as severe.

• Most respondents attached an increased importance to trees and outdoor spaces during the pandemic(72 per cent).

• Survey respondents were mixed over current levels of service for urban forest management, expressing the most dissatisfaction with protecting trees during development (66 per cent dissatisfied).

• Most respondents indicated a willingness to contribute $25 and $100 per year per household to increase levels of satisfaction.

• Survey respondents are active urban forest stewards – 97 per cent participated in at least one urban forest stewardship activity in the last five years.

• The top reasons for submitting the urban forest locations on the mapping tool were because participants appreciate the landscape and can experience nature in those places.

More results from the first phase of public engagement will be shared during phase two of engagement and in the draft strategy. Please subscribe for project updates and check back on Lets Talk Parksville in the winter and early spring of 2022 for an opportunity to review and provide input on Parksville’s draft Urban Forest Strategy.

– NEWS Staff, submitted

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