LETTER: Parksville needs bylaw to require tree-planting

RE: Parksville council backs away from tree-free bylaw (The NEWS, Jan. 18).

Thank you to our reporters at the PQB News for keeping us informed about the potential new bylaw to govern new subdivisions in Parksville to ban trees in the boulevard and sidewalk areas, and thanks to the mayor and council for reconsidering the bylaw for the time being.

I am concerned about the long-term consequences of such a bylaw, should it be passed. At the heart of city and municipal plans in communities in British Columbia is ‘carbon neutral’ legislation regulating greenhouse gas emissions deemed harmful to human health. Trees, along with their moss and lichen companions, absorb and metabolize GHGs to improve air quality, and produce oxygen.

The proposed Parksville bylaw to make room for bigger pipes, and more asphalt and concrete, by ‘banning trees in the boulevards and sidewalks in new housing developments in Parksville,’ in a world where climate change is accelerated by global deforestation, is ignorant and hypocritical. When we consent to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” the unintended consequences of climate change are floods, excessive wind and polluted air.

Please, council and mayor of Parksville, do not pass any bylaws to deny trees in any part of Parksville in favor of large plastic pipes, and more asphalt and concrete. The citizens of Parksville understand that trees make oxygen, and these citizens (including me) who live in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere region could be called upon to use ‘sustainable development’ practices to conserve, preserve and protect trees and forests.

Let’s work together to increase oxygen and reduce GHG emissions by conserving forests and planting trees. Let’s be bold and pass a bylaw requiring every citizen in Parksville to plant a tree every year.

Glenda Hunter

Nanoose Bay

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