Trees in Abbotsford - Urban Forest Strategy

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The City's growing population and increasing development activities are creating a number of challenges for our trees. Development, installing water and sewer utilities, invasive species, tree diseases, aging and climate change are all creating a challenging environment to grow healthy trees.

The City has drafted an Urban Forest Strategy and we want your input! Take the Survey below, type a comment in our Guestbook, or register to attend the Virtual Open House on July 14, 2021. When the Strategy is finalized, it will provide a clear direction and long-term vision for managing the City's urban trees for the next 25 years and beyond.

The City's growing population and increasing development activities are creating a number of challenges for our trees. Development, installing water and sewer utilities, invasive species, tree diseases, aging and climate change are all creating a challenging environment to grow healthy trees.

The City has drafted an Urban Forest Strategy and we want your input! Take the Survey below, type a comment in our Guestbook, or register to attend the Virtual Open House on July 14, 2021. When the Strategy is finalized, it will provide a clear direction and long-term vision for managing the City's urban trees for the next 25 years and beyond.

Urban Forestry Strategy Guestbook

Do you have comments about the Draft Urban Forest Strategy?

Please share your thoughts and comments about the Draft Urban Forest Strategy. You can learn about the draft Strategy by:

    Watching the video

    Exploring the interactive project page

    Reading the Draft Strategy


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Please, please include a plan to preserve the green space/forest of McKee Peak so citizens and families can continue to enjoy outdoor recreation (hiking, biking, walking, bird watching, running) in nature. It would be a tremendous loss to Abbotsford if we lose this beautiful area.

Christine Scott 3 months ago

The city of abbotsford needs to put an emphasis on areas like mckee peak and sumas mountain that are already a great natural resource in the city. These areas are multi use trails and forestry networks that if allowed to be destroyed like eagle mountain will drastically effect the draw to live in the city of abbotsford. Cities like mission and chilliwack have done excellent work at sustaining more natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

Rharris 3 months ago

Please keep and maintain the natural tree and forest areas we already enjoy for hiking, cycling, and exploring. Our children need to have the opportunity to enjoy places like Sumas and Ledgeview, just as we have!

Jacki 3 months ago

Significant and meaningful language should be included for the protection of tree canopy on the lands that form McKee Peak. This is a once ever treasure for Abbotsford and the public interest outweighs the redevelopment potential. Cluster development could preserve natural tree stands and allow for some increases in residential units if no development is not a realistic option. Natural areas for recreation, bio conservation, etc are important and not generally recognized by Parks outside of ball diamonds and soccer fields. Take this opportunity to do it right.

Daniel Graham 3 months ago

Protection of ledgeview and Sumas mountain recreation areas is vital to preserve the remaining forest areas in the community while they are still there. These forest areas are the some of the only remaining outdoor recreation areas accessible by the community for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. I hope the city will consider the importance of preserving these areas while they are still healthy ecosystems and prevent any further development or excessive logging of these areas. Not only will this protect the little remaining natural forests left in Abbotsford but it will also help the health and well-being of the community.

Jordan D 3 months ago

Trees and forested areas are vital to our health and wellness, as well as to the ecosystem. The ledgeview trails at McKee peak are a critical point of access to nature for so many residents and sumas mtn is an important recreational area. Amidst climate change we need to be leading the way and prioritizing the protection of trees in developed and undeveloped spaces, and we need to leave forests undeveloped. The health of a community will be drastically impacted if only development is focused on. We need ledgevoew and sumas (our only 2 mountainous recreational areas) to remain the gems of this city that they are.

Jennyq 3 months ago

I support actions the city of Abbotsford is looking to take to protect our trees

Mark Murdoch 3 months ago

Urban forests are vital to residents and nature in a multitude of ways, and it is vital that urban forests, green spaces and well managed parks are a priority to the city. Climate change and both physical and mental health of humans and animals are at risk as development takes over, unless it is properly designed with existing natural areas in mind. I commute every day into Abbotsford, and watch more and more green disappear off McKee as development grows. I bike and hike on Sumas Mtn, and it seems like every time I go there is a new townhouse complex going up.

I know there is a need for development, as the population in the Fraser Valley is obviously growing, but we need to make sure these expansions do not come at a price we cannot afford to pay in terms of the loss of our natural environment.

Aaron H 3 months ago

Please provide protection for keeping large natural forrested recreation sites like Ledgeview and Sumas Mountain

Ek 3 months ago

Im a mountain biker trees and trails are important in abbotsford

Reid m 3 months ago

The biggest concern I have about this strategy is that McKee Peak was not mentioned. That is the green heart of this community and the plan currently is to make another eagle mountain. This should be at the top of the discussion. The "Lets Talk" page for McKee has been closed for discussion.

Yoshia Burton 3 months ago

Remember the record-breaking heatwave that we just survived? The one that literally killed people in our community?

That's going to become our new normal, and honestly it's going to get much worse. Any strategy that does not see a major positive increase in the amount of canopy cover in our city is not good enough. Do you really think that in 5 - 10 years people will want to move to a city that is actively reducing the amount of canopy cover while the temperatures continue to rise? A heat island city could make lots of money for property owners/developers in the short term, but it will create a dangerous nightmare for the people who aren't privileged enough to move somewhere that is better prepared to handle extreme heat.

This isn't a beautification project or some sort of "make the town more inviting to tourism" consideration - the amount of tree cover we have is directly correlated to the city's livability on a base level. If 40+ degrees is the new norm during the summer and the city keeps cutting down trees, the temperature at street/home level will just get hotter and hotter and more Abbotsford residents will start to die in their homes. This city needs to formally recognize the importance of climate change in it's decision-making process, and prioritize the livability of the city for residents over the considerations of developers and wealthy property owners who want to cut down trees.

rfehrenbacher 3 months ago

All of West Abbotsford is basically an urban heat island at this point. There is no shade or trees anywhere, no parks and there is so much development happening everywhere at all times. So many trees from the Gardner Park area were cut down for a new housing project and a huge old growth tree near my home was cut down for a Catholic church, who are responsible for the genocide of Indigenous peoples.

There needs to be more protection for all old growth trees now and there needs to be more trees and canopy coverage in West Abbotsford in particular because all the resources from the city goes to East Abbotsford, which is more white and more wealthy. West Abbotsford is neglected and big corporations and developers are destroying the land to create a concrete jungle and that needs to stop immediately. This needs to be done justly and equitably and there needs to be more trees everywhere.

Amrit_HxH 3 months ago

The loss of trees and in particular the old growth trees in Abbotsford is disconcerting to say the least. Just take a drive through the old Abbotsford area (off McCallum Rd.) and you'll get a good feel for the "effectiveness" of the current policies and bylaws. Every square inch on all the new developments is paved, and the 1-2 decorative trees planted in lieu of the old growth that were cut down, provide zero value to the environment. Emphasis should be put on preservation as time is clearly not on our side. It is indeed very sad to see how we're racing to build a concrete and asphalt urban jungle with little or no regard for the environment and all the sentient beings that call Abbotsford their home.

Chris 3 months ago

I'm concerned about increased tree removal and inadequate tree replacement by homeowners and developers. In particular, large trees are key resources that are not easy or quick to replace.

Homeowners are increasingly removing trees, both from necessity (e.g. damage to infrastructure) and preference (e.g. maintenance/aesthetics). Homeowners' cost for replacement trees is greater than the city's replacement fee. I would like the city to approve fewer tree removals (especially for large trees), and increase fees to incentivize tree retention.

The city's development bylaws don't currently support tree protection, planting, and growth. The draft Urban Forestry Strategy proposes 2-3 trees per lot in urban 3 infill areas (p21), which doesn't seem feasible with current development practices. I would like to see the city:
• Require developers to retain more trees, especially large trees
• Allow space for more trees in developments, including a minimum distance of trees from infrastructure
• Regulate landscaping methods to support trees -- e.g. maximum hardscaped and/or minimum turf areas, increased soil volume requirements, and discouraged use of artificial turf

Like another respondent, I am concerned about the loss of forest on McKee Peak. The trail network is heavily used by hikers, bikers, and runners, and has increased substantially during Covid.

Trees and green space improve human, wildlife, and environmental health. As the recent heatwave has illustrated, they will be even more important in slowing climate change and offsetting rising temperatures in the years to come.

erom 4 months ago

Trees give people a good feeling however the cost is not considered. My wife was missed by a falling tree thank goodness. That tree caused three electrical fires on the street. Many other houses were without power for over a week. Telephone service was disputed for some for 30 days. No one considers the placement trees. A good example is the trees placed along Clearbrook road. Ten years later many had to be removed since they not only lifted the cast iron grates but also the sidewalk and curb. Just imagine what they do to sewer and water lines. Just ask any city engineering department and you will get an earfull.

lotechman 4 months ago

I do notice some invasive plant removal but MUCH more to be done. Lamium, English Ivy, knotweed etc. One huge problem is that out forests are changing. How many Walnut trees ( Squirrel planted) have you found on your yard? One example is on the walk around Mill Lk near the kariton house. # Walnut trees growing that should be removed. All we need is more support and food for squirrels. Walnut trees are not supposed to be members of our forests,

R Smallenberg 4 months ago

Where's the Indigenous leadership? There was only one mention of Indigenous peoples in that entire report? The Sto:lo nation should be leading this strategy because they are the true stewards of this land this time immemorial. I have lived here in so called Abbotsford for 29 years and all I've seen this all the trees in my neighbourhood being cut down for a Catholic church and more development. This city does not have biodiversity and the protection of this land as their main priority. They are all about development at any cost to make money and it's sickening. I want to see the Sto:lo nation leading this immediately because clearly they have not been consulted or worked with in any of this.

Amrit_HxH 4 months ago

I write to you in haste in the interest of range of species who call Abbotsford and the lower mainland home. I have seen the natural habit dwindle paving the way for new development; construction. Large swaths of lands are deducted with the emanation of rezoning and building, aesthetically appealing manicured laws and sidewalks.

I see street borders growth been cut given little or no regard to fauna who calls it home. There is an area Behind the Yale Court area adjacent to Highway 11 where a new throughfare is proposed. The vegetation is mowed down for no apparent reason; thus resulting in a significant reduction in habitat value.

Moved, manicured lawns has little value other than decorative purposes and often often drafted and proposed by designers, landscapers and arborists. I am a firm believer of urban coppice (similar to the ones in English farms) where no deduction in contents.

Further to the above it must be added the central important of wildlife travel paths which creates a sustainable eco system. I often times carrion by the road sides. A voice is not assigned to these defenceless and voiceless critters.

A sustainable vibrant community is where all sentient beings are accommodated and thrive; we as residents of Abbotsford should make every effort to achieve this objective.

Ranjeeva Samaranayake

RanjeevaSam 4 months ago

I am shocked at how many trees are being allowed to be removed in Abbottsford. It's more than a little shocking and should neither be allowed or have been given permission. We used to have an incredible amount of trees in Abbottsford. It's truly sad and the very opposite of any "climate change" claims that can honestly be claimed.

Ddd 4 months ago
Page last updated: 29 September 2021, 11:31