The Walleye Magazine
Celebrating Our Urban Forests
As spring arrives and the snow departs, we celebrate by planting farms, gardens, and trees. Arbor Day is usually celebrated at the end of April, though due to our climate, we hold off until the last frost which can be as late as June. It is a day used to reflect on the benefits that trees and green infrastructure provide to our communities. While trees filter the air, offer shade in the summer, and capture stormwater, amongst a plethora of other benefits, green infrastructure is a term to encompass anything developed to mimic or complement nature. Structures like Low Impact Developments, green roofs, native plants in urban areas, rain gardens, and more are all captured by the term.
It’s thanks to past Arbor Days that the City has improved areas in numerous parks across the city.
The City of Thunder Bay has been active in encouraging green infrastructure with its EarthCare initiative; categorized partnerships between municipal government and community stakeholders providing guidance and support encouraging our city to be increasingly friendly to nature and resilient to climate change. You may very well be maintaining some green infrastructure of your own! Do you have trees, gardens, or other native plants on your property? Perhaps you make use of a rain barrel or harvest foods from a backyard plot? Even allowing sections of your lawn to naturalize can provide shelter and nourishment for pollinating insects and birds. Though Arbor Day is about trees, it gives us the opportunity to consider the realm of green infrastructure. It’s thanks to past Arbor Days that the City has improved areas in numerous parks across the city. Visit newly planted trees at City parks including Parkdale, Dease, Vickers, Dalhousie, and County Park; or small greenspaces like Holly, Confederation, and Albany to see green infrastructure planted by City staff and volunteers. The City has increased its tree planting efforts over the last five years from 200 per year to 1,100 trees, with dozens of Low Impact Developments and being built. Large-scale green infrastructure is essential, but there is strength in community effort and what you do on your property makes a big difference. Through a thousand small actions, considerable change is possible. You can help by planting trees, growing your own vegetables, refraining from using toxic pesticides and herbicides, improving the storm water runoff on your property, de-paving asphalt areas, renovating a building to increase its efficiency or add a green roof, advocating for biodiversity, or driving less.
To learn more about EarthCare Thunder Bay, visit: www.earthcarethunderbay.ca