Draft Urban Forest Strategy: Our Coalition Response
On May 24, 2022, the city released a draft of the forthcoming 20-year Urban Forest Strategy. While our coalition members are heartened to find that it contains some promising recommendations, it does not paint a clear picture of what’s at stake and fails to motivate urgent, decisive and immediate action to invest in Winnipeg’s urban forest.
Last year’s State of the Urban Forest Report failed to connect the dots to explain how we got to the point where we are so behind on pruning and replanting, and didn’t capture the scale of imminent potential canopy loss that Winnipeg faces.
With this Draft Strategy, that trend continues. It falls short on communicating the magnitude of impending canopy loss, and recommends canopy expansion goals that are far too timid in light of the climate crisis.
From the intro…
“This report is aimed at damage control. It’s not a statement of a vision of a better city, but one of survival.”
“Too technical & too timid.”
“A bureaucratic report on what is possible given existing constraints.”
These are just some of the reactions that Trees Please Winnipeg Coalition members had after reviewing this long-awaited, much anticipated draft strategy. Our consensus is that while there’s much to applaud in this document, the goal is survival in spite of disease and development, the approach is too technical for a public/councilor audience and recommendations read like a “try to do everything” wish list, rather than being prioritized and set up to achieve desirable change.