It’s ironic City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan spoke about the importance of trees at a recent tree-planting in Moodyville Park. The city spent $3.2 million on this park expansion yet won’t [commit] to a tree protection program and had to access outside funding to plant these trees.
Last December, the city cut down more than 90 primarily large diameter trees and a section of mature forest in the last forested park in Lower Lonsdale, without [taking into account] that this area was designated in 2002 as being highly sensitive with important habitat that should be protected.
They also cut down all the trees in the land that was added to the park.
They didn’t consider impacts of removing these large trees, which filter air pollutants, on the health of 4,000 new condo residents due to coal and grain dust, inhalable particulates. or diesel emissions. They ignored the impacts on climate mitigation and adaption from removing large trees that could have shaded new condos to significantly reduce energy use, reduce ambient temperatures, and the large releases of stored carbon and reduced sequestering ability from cutting down these trees.
This fall the last pair of breeding eagles in the area have abandoned their nest in the park.
They didn’t consider all the urban forest lost in the surrounding redevelopment area and how important this remaining forest was.
The proposed Hamersley Park redevelopment also has plans to remove healthy trees and shrubs to enhance neighbours’ views and put
in grass. A recent Metro Vancouver report shows that based on 2017 estimates, less than 25 per cent of urban forest remains in CNV, and given ongoing development and loss of trees from the 2018 drought, it’s now even lower.
The report also stressed the importance of retaining mature trees over replanting.
City council must recognize that the tiny trees planted will take several decades before providing the same function as the 70-year-old trees they cut down, assuming they are resilient enough to survive.
I urge residents and students to contact city council and demand they declare a climate emergency, and take action to implement a program to protect trees and take science-based climate action beyond reducing emissions.
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