Call to Action! Fund the 20-Year Urban Forest Strategy!

Happy new year…. we have GREAT NEWS to share! On December 14th City Council passed the 20-Year Winnipeg Urban Forest Strategy.

Now, the city’s Budget Committee MUST fund that strategy IN FULL!

A vote on the budget will take place in March, but budget talks are now in progress.

It’s urgent that you make your support for fully funding the strategy known – either by calls or emails – to the mayor and councillors.

Please let them know, as soon as possible, that you expect the city to fund the strategy in the upcoming four year budget in full, in order to honour the Tree Please Pledge they signed promising to:

1. Plant: For every 1 public tree lost, the city should be replanting at least 2 new trees, and watering those trees adequately so they survive & thrive
2. Maintain: Fund a 7-year pruning cycle (the industry standard)
3. Protect: Require that tree protection best practices be incorporated into all construction projects to prevent damage and loss of trees

The Strategy’s main goal (to increase the tree canopy cover from 17% to 24% by 2065) will only be achieved if the funding requested by the Urban Forestry Department is forthcoming.

If funding remains as is, our tree canopy cover will decline from the current 17% to between 9% and 13% by 2065. Meaning more neighbourhoods with fewer trees!

Why is a healthy, expanded canopy important?

  • Our urban forest protects us from the extreme weather associated with climate change, in particular heat island effect and flooding.
  • We have an 80% tree replacement backlog which must be addressed. Too many neighbourhoods are losing too many of their beloved mature trees!

We need a best practice 7 year pruning cycle to protect our mature trees and keep our communities safe.

We need better bylaws aimed at protecting all of our mature trees.

To send an email, a complete list for councillors and the mayor can be found here.

Members of the Standing Committee on Finance preparing the budget include:

  • Councillor Browaty, Chairperson
  • Councillor Lukes, Deputy Mayor
  • Councillor Orlikow
  • Councillor Schreyer
  • His Worship Mayor Gillingham (ex officio)

You can find the strategy, budget request and accompanying reports here:

Thanks for your attention and please pass this on to anyone you feel might be interested!

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