Keeping the “elm” in Glenelm
In the Glenelm neighbourhood of Elmwood, folks are extremely dismayed at how many of our majestic mature boulevard elms are being lost to Dutch Elm Disease every year. To add insult to injury, many of those removed trees are not being replanted. The Glenelm Neighbourhood Association’s Trees Committee formed to come up with a plan to address these issues. We discovered that the urban forestry department is seriously underfunded, and their budget limitations mean they can replace fewer than one of every two trees lost.
In discussions with the Urban Forestry department, we learned about another local group that had secured money through the city’s Land Dedication Reserve to plant boulevard trees. We did an inventory of how many spots were waiting for new trees in our neighbourhood and created projections for the next 10 years, then presented our proposal to our city councillor, Jason Schreyer, who was in total support. After a few procedural hurdles, we got approved for $53,000 to be used for new trees and tree-preservation expenses. Our first tree was planted in front of Glenelm School on National Tree Day 2019, which we marked with a “shovel ceremony” with students from the school, some guests of honour and many community members!
To date, we’ve planted 70+ boulevard trees and had anti-DED fungicidal treatments on several boulevard elms in high-value intersection locations. Seeing a need for new trees in our parks, in 2020, our Tree Committee purchased and solicited donations of trees for Elmwood Park and Hespeler Park. We also supported a neighbourhood-wide tree banding effort.
Big thanks to our partners Green Drop, Trees Winnipeg ReLeaf Program and TD Park People Grants – and all the devoted and hard-working residents who give so generously of their time and energy to keep our neighbourhood leafy and green!