BRAMPTON, ON. (Oct. 28, 2011) – Peel’s new Urban Forest Strategy brings the municipalities of Peel together with area conservation authorities to protect trees and build healthier, more sustainable communities. The strategy, a partnership between the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Region of Peel, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), City of Mississauga, City of Brampton, and Town of Caledon, was endorsed by Peel Regional Council on Oct. 13, 2011.
“Through this strategy, Peel Region and its partners are demonstrating real leadership to protect our urban forest for generations to come,” said Arvin Prasad, Director of Integrated Planning for the Region of Peel. “Only through a collaborative, Region-wide effort can we assure the most strategic approach and deliver the best outcomes for the communities we serve.”
Peel Region’s urban forest is a dynamic system that includes all trees, shrubs and understory plants, as well as the soils that sustain them. This system provides an essential ‘natural infrastructure’ with numerous benefits for Peel including:
- Storing carbon to mitigate the effects of climate change. It is estimated that 405,000 tonnes of carbon is stored by trees in Peel Region today;
- Improving local air quality;
- Slowing rainfall runoff allowing water to seep into the ground;
- Decreasing energy costs by shading homes and offices in summer;
- Providing habitat for local wildlife;
- Increasing the life span of roads and sidewalks; and,
- Contributing to a higher quality of life and more visually pleasing urban environment.
One of the biggest threats to Peel’s urban forest today is the Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native invasive insect that feeds on and kills ash trees. During the relatively short time that the Emerald Ash Borer has been in North America, it has killed millions of trees in Canada and the United States. On average 11 per cent of Peel’s urban trees are at-risk ash trees. The strategy calls for greater species diversity to decrease the risk of large scale forest loss.
For information about the Peel Region Urban Forest Strategy and other Peel initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change, visit peelregion.ca/planning/climatechange.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves approximately 1.3 million residents in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, and the town of Caledon.
For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit peelregion.ca.