Council supports City’s next phase of work for the Urban Forest Management Plan

Guelph, Ont., October 6, 2020 – Council has approved  the next phase of work proposed for the next five years of the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). The UFMP was developed in 2012 and sets priorities for the next 20 years to manage and maintain the City’s urban forest until 2034.

Staff delivered a report to Committee of the Whole on September 8, with the results of the first phase of the plan, priority actions and timing for the next three years, with the funding requirements presented to Council during the budget process later this year that will decide key deliverables.

Successes of phase one of the Urban Forest Management Plan

Since the implementation of the plan in late 2013, the understanding of Guelph’s urban forest by staff and residents of Guelph has improved and the City of Guelph has transitioned towards proactive management and sustainability of the urban forest.

Key recommendations in the first phase focused on developing an urban forest policy, standards and guidelines, dedicating additional resources to urban forest initiatives, gaining comprehensive understanding of City-managed trees and forested natural areas, and building community frameworks through partnerships, engagement and stewardship.

Goals for phase two of the plan

  • Preserve and increase Guelph’s canopy cover.
  • Proactive risk management maintenance of trees
  • Establish the value and services that trees provide the community
  • Encourage community collaboration to  protect and grow Guelph’s urban forest

“The Urban Forest Management Plan is the City’s road map to achieving a key pillar of our strategic plan – Sustaining our Future,” says Gene Matthews, manager of Parks Operations and Forestry. “We have set an ambitious target of 40 per cent canopy cover over Guelph and the plan is our way of ensuring that we remain accountable to that goal.”

Register for the Tree Cities of the World Conference

Timea Filer, Urban Forestry Field Technologist with the City of Guelph, will present key successes and next steps of the plan during the Tree Cities of the World Conference on October 29 and 30 at 11 a.m. Register online to hear her speak and learn why Guelph is recognized as a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

More information about the City’s plans to maintain and protect the urban forest can be found at guelph.ca/trees.

Media contact

Gene Matthews, Manager
Parks Operations and Forestry, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3337
[email protected]