On Tuesday, June 20th 2017, Ecology Ottawa appeared at City Hall to congratulate the City of Ottawa for developing a new Urban Forest Management Plan draft, and to gift the council with a tree composed of the names of our petition signers.
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In the wake of the emerald ash borer crisis, we wanted the City of Ottawa to take stock of the lessons learned from the experience and develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to manage Ottawa's urban forest.
With the support of thousands of people - over 11,000 of whom signed our urban forest plan petition - Ecology Ottawa called on City officials to develop a strong, updated and publicly accessible Urban Forest Management Plan. A powerful plan will allow us to emerge from the emerald ash borer crisis with an even stronger and healthier tree canopy.
The demands of the people have not gone unnoticed by the City. On Tuesday, June 20th, City staff presented the final version of the Urban Forest Management Plan to council's Environment and Climate Protection Committee. This marks the tail end of a long process, and the conclusion to this story is a happy one thanks to the tireless work of so many community groups and concerned residents.
Ecology Ottawa's Tree Team worked tireless to create a beautiful tree, its leaves crafted from the names of thousands of petition signers collected throughout these past few years. The tree was presented as a gift to the council to congratulate them on a job well done of the draft and the successful passing of the plan from the Environment and Climate Protection Committee to City Council.
Though this is a huge step forward, we know that a good plan is only half the battle. Ecology Ottawa will continue to work with the City and other community groups over the coming years to ensure that the good intentions outlined in the Urban Forest Management Plan are carried out. One of the possible challenges is ensuring that staff resources remain in place to carry out the plan over the long term.