City of Ottawa’s concern for the trees

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You are invited to help The Champlain Oaks celebrate bur oaks on National Tree Day.

This year’s event–to be held between 10 a.m. and noon on Weds. Sept. 26–will involve about 70 students from St. George’s Elementary School on Keyworth Ave. To join in, approved go first to the mid-point on Northwestern Avenue, between Clearview and Premier (any time between 10 and noon).

The Grade 1 and Grade 6 classes will have a chance to view giant, old and distinctive bur oaks at two locations on private property. Grade 6 students will help with the planting of two bur oak saplings on the boulevard along Northwestern Ave (south of Clearview Ave.). The City of Ottawa has given The Champlain Oaks permission to plant the baby bur oaks in this location to replace two trees (not bur oaks) that died this summer, probably due to drought.

Did you know that a unique feature of bur oaks is that they are drought resistant? Here’s another distinguishing feature of this hardy breed of oak [quercus macrocarpa]:

Once a bur oak reaches the stage at which it can tolerate repeated fire (12 years or older), it persists indefinitely in savannas or open woodlands with frequent fire.

The map on this website shows that we, and the bur oaks around us, live at the northern edge of the species range in North America. Bur oaks in the north can live 250 or 300 years.

Adults in the Champlain Park community (and nearby neighbourhoods) are welcome to attend the event. If you would like to help the organizers by providing soil, water, or shovels, please contact Daniel Buckles before Sept. 26 at 613-722-8048 or dbuckles (at) sympatico (dot) com.

My immediate neighbour and I attended the City of Ottawa's first public consultation about small- and medium-scale infill development, this site
and it was very interesting.  Responding to complaints and concerns brought forward by citizens, more about
the City conducted a small survey recently by looking at 400 new in-fill developments.  They found issues with by-law compliance and accordance with the City's Guidelines, link
and decided to bring the process forward to the community for in-put.

I was heartily encouraged to see that one of the areas of concern is the state of the urban canopy and the mature trees that are being cut down.  Although the City's Planning Dept does not have authority over the urban forest (that would be the Forestry Department), and, therefore, cannot recommend by-law amendments with respect to the trees, they do have some good suggestions for actions that fall within their bailiwick.  They're looking for community support for these actions, from what I understand.

The next three public consultations about this topic will be on these dates, at these places; the content of all the evenings is the same, they're just making the process accessible in different neighbourhoods on a variety of dates.

Tuesday, February 15th
(7:15 – 9:15pm):  St.  Matthew’s Church – 217 First Ave.

 Thursday, February 17th (7 – 9pm):  Connaught Public School (Gym) – 1149 Gladstone Ave.

 Thursday, February 24th (7 – 9pm):  Festival Control (City Hall)

Everyone is welcome!  At the first one the other evening, the ward's City Councillor showed up, some developers were present and the CBC was active in soliciting opinions.  Members of the communities involved are valuable participants.

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