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