As spring is slowly coming to an end and summer is just around the corner, Green Venture is wrapping up its first CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) tree planting initiative. Last year, we started off this project by conducting tree inventories using the Neighborwoods© assessment across 20 CHH properties across Hamilton. We were able to assess almost 1000 trees with some properties having as many as 200 trees on-site, while others only had 3! Taking this information, along with the CHH tenant survey conducted back in Fall 2021, we created recommendations on how to reduce tree inequality in Hamilton – you can read all about it on our Summary Report or Full Report!
This spring, 3 CHH sites were selected to be pilot planting locations as part of this initiative to increase our urban tree canopy cover! CHH tenant interest and engagement, and property manager and tenant requests for tree planting, were also factored into site selection.
Starting off with Vanier Towers, this unique property is surrounded by many high-rise buildings. While some consider it as a concrete jungle, Vanier Towers also contains tall mature trees and a beautiful community garden run by amazing tenants that live in the property. Vanier Towers gained 4 new trees: 2 serviceberries (Amelanchier canadensis), 1 red maple (Acer rubrum), and 1 red oak (Quercus rubra).
Going 5 minutes east of Vanier Towers, is 30 Sanford Avenue South, our next pilot CHH site. Also located in downtown Hamilton, this 45-year-old senior housing property had an additional 4 new trees planted on this property: 2 tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), 1 red maple (Acer rubrum), and a white oak (Quercus alba). The total number of trees was increased to 10 trees – a big difference from Vanier Towers, where 55 trees (including the newly-planted trees) are found. The tenants at 30 Sanford have found other ways to beautify this property and add more greenery, including through raised garden beds that provide the tenants with fresh vegetables, colourful flowers, and so much more!
On our last stop, heading over to Motherwell Mills in Dundas, this townhome complex is situated just in front of the Spencer Creek Trail. This property lost 3 mature ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees that were cut down due to the Emerald Ash Borer disease. This invasive pest, native to East Asia, has affected native ash species in Canada as the larvae feed between the bark and sapwood, resulting in ash tree mortality. To replace the ash trees, 2 bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa), and 1 common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) were planted at the front of the complex.
Although rain was in the forecast during all planting events, we didn’t let it hold us back. We hope to continue to maintain and care for these newly-planted trees through the Tree Care teams that will be run by volunteers from the properties to ensure the survival of these trees. This project is made possible by Tree Canada, the Hamilton Community Foundation, and Canadian Tree Fund grants to help build a healthy community.
The Hamilton Tree Equity Project is a collaboration between Green Venture, CityHousing Hamilton, Trees for Hamilton, the City of Hamilton Forestry Section, McMaster University Academic Sustainability Programs Office and the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
City of Hamilton Draft Urban Forest Strategy Plan