Volunteers wanted for Tree Ottawa Project
Ecology Ottawa is looking for volunteers to get involved in this great local improvement initiative. Tree Ottawa will inspire and empower residents to better appreciate and care for urban trees. Neighbourhood Teams, working within the context of the Ecology Ottawa Community Network, will plant trees in their community, engage residents to adopt and care for stressed trees, and help to harvest fruit and nuts from existing trees.
Why we need Tree Ottawa
Trees in the city of Ottawa mitigate the effects of climate change, contribute to water retention, add beauty to our urban landscapes and provide us with food, shade, recreation, and noise barriers. They reduce dust and pollution in the air and replace them with sweet fragrances and oxygen. Urban trees are significant and integral components of our urban ecology, providing homes and food to a multitude of animal species year round. Indeed, caring for existing trees and planting more trees will benefit us all.
In recent years, however, trees have been under attack by invasive pests, climate change, drought and severe storm events, as well as by the increasing number and scale of urban developments that replace natural, treed landscapes with pavement and buildings. In fact, the Emerald Ash Borer threatens to destroy 25% of Ottawa’s existing tree canopy in only a few years. It is more important now than ever before that we care for our trees, increase their numbers and prevent their further degradation.
What Tree Ottawa will do
Ecology Ottawa will support our Community Organizers and their Neighbourhood Teams to reach out to the community, establish a Neighbourhood Team, organize tree-planting events and ask people to adopt local trees. Neighbourhood teams will also support Hidden Harvest Ottawa (HHO) to harvest trees and help share the urban abundance of the more than 20,000 fruit and nut trees that are accessible in the National Capital Region. The fruit or nuts from a harvest event are split four ways: ¼ to the tree owner, ¼ to the volunteer harvesters, ¼ to the nearest community agency in need (such as food bank or soup kitchen), and ¼ to HHO for processing. Tree Ottawa Neighbourhood Teams will aim to plant 50 trees and arrange for 25 more to be adopted, in addition to helping organize three Hidden Harvest events.
Project partners will include Hidden Harvest Ottawa, Permaculture Ottawa, the City of Ottawa’s forestry department, the National Capital Commission, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and the Sierra Youth Coalition’s Sustainable High Schools Project.