Feb. 8, 2023 – The City is looking to residents for their input as it prepares to develop a plan that will guide the care, maintenance, and protection of the community’s urban tree canopy.

The City is currently beginning development of its first Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), with support from Urban Forest Innovations Inc. Based on a review of the current state of Sarnia’s tree canopy and the input of the community, the plan will identify strengths, gaps, needs, and priorities for urban forest management to establish a long-term vision, goals, and targets for the maintenance, protection, and enhancement of trees.

“We are looking to residents to help us gauge their experiences with trees in the community and the importance of trees to their everyday lives,” said Forestry and Horticulture Supervisor Cory King, adding, “a strong urban canopy can deliver a host of benefits, including increased biodiversity, beautification of neighbourhoods, and resilience to changing weather patterns. This plan will help us identify the best path forward to enhance our urban canopy in a way that reflects our resident’s vision of their community while addressing challenges such as invasive species and climate change.”

The plan’s goals and outcomes will largely relate to trees on City property. While Sarnia’s UFMP may consider strategies to encourage and enhance tree protection on public and private lands in the city, it will not regulate or prohibit tree management or removal on private lands if adopted.

As development of the plan gets underway, the City is hosting a survey to gauge resident opinions and experiences as they relate to the urban canopy. Further public consultation will include in-person workshops, public information centres, and public review / input of the draft UFMP.

Residents can learn more and complete the survey at www.speakupsarnia.ca/UFMP.

The survey will remain open until March 24 at noon. Paper copies of the survey can be completed on the third floor of City Hall.