›› JJ Ford

“One simple yet powerful way of ­building more sustainable and resilient cities is ­planting trees. Strategically planted trees can cool the air by between 2°C and 8°C, thereby reducing air conditioning needs by 30 per cent. A single tree can absorb up to 150kg of CO2 per year and help ­mitigate climate change… Planting more trees in ­cities is a simple, inexpensive and yet deeply impactful way in which [cities] can lead the efforts in tackling climate change.” – from ­treesincities.unece.org.

Fall is a great time to think about ­planting trees. In our climate, planting trees ­from September to November allows them to settle into the soil while it’s moist and still relatively warm, before the dormant winter period begins.

Luckily for Victoria residents, the City of Victoria has two great programs that provide funding and resources for people to plant trees in public and private spaces:

1. Trees in Cities Challenge (TICC) – The TICC is a global campaign launched by the United Nations Economic ­Commission for Europe (UNECE) to encourage climate action at the municipal level. As part of the City of Victoria’s response, they are providing grant ­funding for residents to plant trees on private property. Groups of residents, in partnership with a non-profit partner, can apply for up to $1,000 in funding to ­support the cost of trees and planting materials. Application deadline is October 31st, 2021.

2. Urban Food Tree Stewardship Pilot Program – This program supports ­residents to plant fruit and nut trees in public places. In partnership with a community ­organization, residents can apply for funding to purchase trees and planting materials. Stewards are then responsible for the ongoing care of the food trees–­including harvest! Application deadline is also October 31st, 2021.

Interested in learning more? Check out the City of Victoria website for more info or ­contact ­jj@fernwoodnrg.ca.