An illustration of the playground improvement at Colwood Creek Park.

Trees of Tomorrow grant to plant at Colwood Creek Park

Hundreds of new trees are coming to Colwood Creek Park

Colwood Creek Park is branching out.

Hundreds of new trees are coming to Colwood courtesy of a provincial grant aimed at providing cleaner, healthier air in a large-scale urban forestation program where millions of trees will be planted across the province.

“Putting the trees in Colwood Creek makes an abundance of sense and the city has taken a keen interest over the years of maintaining and fostering the ecosystem of Colwood Creek,” said Colwood Coun. Gordie Logan. “This plays into our goal in improving Colwood Creek Park and also in protecting (the) creek itself.”

The Trees of Tomorrow grant from the BC Air Action Plan is earmarked for the riparian area (or land along streams or waterways)  of the creek and sees the reforestation of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Red Alder and Black Cottonwood planted along seven areas identified as needing the most trees with respect to where the trees would best thrive. The $20,000 grant will be matched by the City of Colwood.

“We all know trees clean and protect the air we breathe and with the importance of maintaining and protecting our urban forest, council saw the Trees of Tomorrow grant provides an awesome opportunity to meet that challenge head on,” Logan said.

Colwood’s public works staff are expected to start planting in the fall after new soil amendments have settled in as part of the preparation for planting. A survey asking residents how they used the park and what they would like to see there, alongside a University of Victoria student study showing additional trees would improve the health of the creek precipitated the program which won’t be the only addition to the long-standing park.

“As a parent that lives in the neighbourhood with three young kids, any addition is a good addition to the (playground). It’s one of our more heavily used areas in the city and we want to make sure the structure in our parks are safe,” Logan said of new equipment coming to the playground. “It was clear to us the wooden structure had outlived its usefulness so council chose to replace it with a new, more functional piece of equipment.”

The Colwood Creek Park Play area will see new climbing and musical equipment to replace the aging wooden equipment. New three-foot-high split fencing around the playground aimed at helping parents keep track of children and preventing pets from making their way onto the playground is expected to start in late September.

“(These are) exciting improvements to one of Colwood’s jewels and hopefully represents more of things to come,” Logan said.

For up-to-date information visit colwood.ca.

Did you know?

Grant rules require Colwood to match the grant, which it did, pushing the total to $40,000 for the one-time grant. The City saved a portion every year since applying in 2009, saving $20,000 in time for their 2014 budget.

The Trees for Tomorrow initiative will ensure millions of trees are planted in schoolyards, campuses, parking lots and other public spaces across the province.

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