Idea #46 - Tree Planting Program

Increase the city’s tree-planting program to plant 500 new trees a year on city boulevards and parks across New Westminster.

"New Westminster’s urban forest is an important part of building a community that is both livable and sustainable. The City needs to take a leadership role to increase our tree-planting program and ensure we have an abundance of healthy trees in all our neighbourhoods." Nadine Nakagawa, Council Candidate on Team Cote

In 2015 the City of New Westminster completed its Urban Forest Management Strategy (UFMS), which noted the many benefits that trees bring to our community. Trees clean the air by capturing particulates and other pollutants, and research has shown that trees and greenspaces reduce our stress, improve our attention spans, and promote both physical activity and community connections. They provide shade that cools the city down in summer, while also providing habitat for birds and other creatures. For these and other reasons, the City is dedicated to improving the health and abundance of New Westminster’s urban forest. Between 2004 and 2014 our community saw a 15% decline in our tree canopy. The UFMS made a number of recommendations to reverse this trend, including increasing the city’s tree-planting program; over the last few years the city has annually planted approximately 200 new trees on city streets and in parks. Increasing this to 500 new trees per year would offer tremendous community benefits, in particular by bolstering the canopy in neighbourhoods with fewer trees, such as Brow of the Hill and Queensborough.