Town of Oakville honoured at Oakvillegreen Urban Forest Celebration

Friday, October 07, 2011 – for immediate release

Town of Oakville honoured at Oakvillegreen Urban Forest Celebration

Mayor Burton accepts Joyce Burnell Tree Champion Award

The Town of Oakville was honoured with the Joyce Burnell Tree Champion Award at the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association’s Fifth Annual Urban Forest Celebration held at Town Hall Wednesday evening.

“It’s a real privilege to receive this award. We’re leaders in urban forestry and our track record proves it,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Joyce was a trailblazer and fought hard to protect our urban trees. Our Forestry Section is working hard to do the same. Thank you for recognizing our achievements.”

According to the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, the Town of Oakville demonstrated leadership and innovation in the realm of urban forestry to achieve this award. Oakville was designated as the Forest Capital of Canada in 2007 by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada, and was the first municipality in Canada to receive a Certified Forest designation for their management plan for Iroquois Shoreline Woods Park. Iroquois Shoreline Woods Park was devastated by Oak Decline, a complex interaction of environmental pressures and pests which stresses or kills oak trees, but with selective cutting, controlled burns and replanting, the forest is well on its way to being healthy again.

Oakville was also the first municipality in Ontario to complete a community-wide Urban Forest Effects Model (UFORE) analysis and continues to experiment with innovative techniques like radial trenching to improve tree health.

“Oakville is always willing to collaborate with community partners on tree plantings and forest conferences to raise public awareness of our urban forest,” said Karen Brock, president of the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association. “We’re fortunate that Council has put numerous policies in place to protect trees on public and private property, and in new developments.”

The town was also applauded for its Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Management Plan and the successful launch of the Oakville Canopy Club, an innovative community outreach program that encourages residents to save Oakville’s tree canopy from the threat of EAB. John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services for the Town of Oakville briefly discussed the threat posed by EAB and how Oakville continues to manage it.

The event also honoured the late George Atkins and the late Joyce Burnell, Oakville citizens who in two different decades took action to save the iconic 260-year-old Bronte Oak from destruction. For more information about the fifth Annual Urban Forest Celebration including the six other award winners visit the Oakvillegreen website.

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Media contact:

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Town of Oakville honoured at Oakvillegreen Urban Forest Celebration