Hamilton’s Urban Forest Needs Better Protection – by Giuliana Casimirri

Published February 28, 2014 at Raise the Hammer.

As Hamilton, Ontario continues to shake off its sooty industrial reputation and build an ambitious city, exciting initiatives around the city are giving life to palpable changes and real hope. However, creating coexistence with our ‘green infrastructure’ – the trees, urban green spaces, and woodlands within our city boundary – continues to be one of Hamilton’s greatest challenges.

On the urban woodland front in particular, we are definitely losing the battle, in large part because we haven’t even been putting up a fight.

This article highlights the benefits of our urban forest, some of the history of tree protection by-laws (and attempted by-laws!) in Hamilton and a new urban woodland by-law proposal, and describes Hamilton’s forest cover status today and some thoughts on how we might strive to enhance and expand our urban forest.

Hamiltonians should be proud of the provincially significant natural areas and geographical features that they have protected and continue to steward. The Dundas Valley, Cootes Paradise wetland, the expansive Royal Botanical Gardens properties, and the Niagara Escarpment are among some of the area’s greatest assets.

But when it comes to remnant urban woodlands located predominantly on private land, these last patches of forest in our increasingly developed matrix are getting smaller, farther apart and fewer in number.

[Read the FULL ARTICLE with photos  at raisethehammer.org…]

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