The City of Delta says that regulatory adjustments and tree planting programs have resulted in the growth of Delta’s tree canopy.
The most recent analysis based on 2016 aerial photos showed increases in the tree canopy in all Delta communities from the 2004 baseline. This information was reported to Delta council at a recent meeting.
The city says the canopy growth can be attributed to a more restrictive tree protection bylaw that was adopted in 2015 in conjunction with a new urban reforestation project. The urban reforestation project will have resulted in 4,400 trees planted by the end of 2019 while an additional 500 trees have been planted through the Trees for Tomorrow program.
“Trees are so important for local air quality, wildlife habitat, air temperature, and many other human and environmental benefits,” said Mayor George Harvie. “I’m proud of our recent progress to enhance our tree canopy and we will continue working towards our goal of 40 per cent tree canopy cover in the city’s urban areas.”
While Delta has planted nearly 5,000 trees since 2015, the number of permits issued to cut trees has decreased since Delta’s current tree protection bylaw was adopted. In 2014, there were 1,532 permits issued to cut trees, but by 2018 that number fell to 921, a 40 per cent reduction in the number of tree cutting permits over a five-year period.
Delta is working with the City of Vancouver and the Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel for a planting plan for the western 40 hectares of the Vancouver Landfill. New opportunities are also being investigated for the expansion and promotion of the Trees for Tomorrow program.