The Village of Cumberland is growing, but it wants to make sure its trees don’t get lost in the process.
Right now, it is conducting an online survey of the community about its Urban Forest Management Plan as part of the process of developing the plan this fall.
While part of it covers green space in the community on public land, such as natural forests, street trees and park trees, it will include ideas around trees on private land.
“The biggest issue is what people want to do on their property,” says Mayor Leslie Baird.
People do not necessarily want the Village to have control over what trees they can have on their property.
“I agree in some respects, but we also can’t cut all the trees down,” she adds. “The trees are very important to the environment.”
The hope is that the survey process can help guide property owners in knowing to plant the right trees for the climate and infrastructure.
The idea for the urban forest plan is not a new one, says Baird.
“It’s been going on in the Village for a number of years,” she says. “We tried it a number of years back.”
She estimates this process took place at least 10 years ago, but the Village has now hired a consultant to guide the process toward completion. The short survey is part of this. The questions asks people to prioritize benefits of forests, such as supporting native plants and animals, controlling water runoff and erosion, storing carbon, providing recreation space or attracting visitors. It also asks for their perceptions on whether the numbers of trees has increased, decreased or stayed the same on different types of land, what their feelings are about trees, forest canopy cover and a list of significant trees in the community.
The Village is gathering survey input through Sept. 20 and will share results this fall. Ultimately, this information will inform a 20-year plan from 2020 to 2040. The survey can be accessed through the Village’s website at cumberland.ca and is estimated to take about six to eight minutes to complete.