Walk­ing tours aim to grow res­i­dents’ knowl­edge of Hal­i­fax’s ur­ban for­est

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS | PROVINCE - BY STEPHANIE TAY­LOR

Did you know many of the trees in the Hy­dro­s­tone neigh­bour­hood were planted in the ‘20s af­ter the area was dec­i­mated by the Hal­i­fax Ex­plo­sion?

Learn­ing the history be­hind the city’s ur­ban for­est and its con­tin­ual evo­lu­tion—not to men­tion on­go­ing chal­lenges—is the idea be­hind a new se­ries of public tours tak­ing place this sum­mer, led by some of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s res­i­dent tree ex­perts.

John Charles, a city plan­ner who helped de­velop the city’s Ur­ban For­est Master Plan prior to its adop­tion in 2012, ex­plained that plant­ing thou­sands of saplings and per­form­ing ex­ten­sive tree main­te­nance are only one part of the work plan.

“Another key is work­ing with the public to ex­plain the ben­e­fits of trees in the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment,” he said Fri­day.

That’s why for the past few years the city has part­nered with re­searchers from Dal­housie Univer­sity to host var­i­ous walk­a­bouts to high­light dif­fer­ent parts of the ur­ban for­est.

In the past, res­i­dents have had a chance to dis­cuss ur­ban or­chards in the Dart­mouth Com­mon and stroll down some of the city’s old­est tree-lined streets in the his­toric neigh­bour­hood of Sch­midtville.

This Sun­day, Charles and ur­ban forester John Sim­mons, will lead res­i­dents on a hour- and-a half walk­ing tour of the north end, start­ing around the Hyr­do­s­tone, then onto Fuller Ter­race and Bloom­field streets.

Ex­plor­ing how trees in­ter­act with the ar­chi­tec­ture of homes and busi­nesses in the area is one bit of knowl­edge res­i­dents can ex­pect to walk away with, Charles said Fri­day.

JEFF HARPER/METRO

Ed­die Durl­ing, left, checks the straight­ness of a newly planted tree as Dean Sauve ad­justs it along High­land Av­enue on Tues­day. The trees are part of HRM's spring tree plant­ing pro­gram.

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