Investing in Windsor Through Urban Forestry and Tree Canopy
Mayor Drew Dilkens, along with members of City Council and City administration, announced today a significant investment in Windsor's urban greenery, tree coverage, and carbon capture efforts. Over the past year, the City has allocated over $4 million to expand, protect and manage our urban tree canopy, with an additional $3 million for horticultural efforts across the city in 2023 alone. The capital investment in forestry over the next decade totals $22.8 million.
Windsor has already doubled the number of large caliper trees planted to over 2,500 per year, created a modern digital inventory of trees in public parks and near streets, and completed the first comprehensive canopy cover study in the city. The results of the study showed that Windsor's canopy cover has increased to about 19 per cent, which is comparable to that of other large cities in Ontario. The City is presently developing its first-ever urban forestry management plan, which will help to further advance urban greening efforts and accomplishments.
These efforts, to date, earned the City recognition as a Tree City of the World for demonstrating commitment by meeting five program standards: establish responsibility for the care of trees, set rules to government the management of forests and trees, maintain an updated inventory or assessment of local tree resources, allocate resources for a tree management plan, and hold an annual celebration of trees to educate residents.
The City of Windsor manages around 100,000 trees in parks and along our streets, with an unknown number of additional trees in forests and other natural areas as well. The most common tree species inventoried in Windsor include honey locust, Norway maple, and silver maple, with each comprising approximately 9 to 10% or 200 hectares or more of Windsor’s total tree canopy.
In 2023, the City of Windsor will plant 2,500 trees during the spring and fall. An additional 3,500 trees will also be planted this year through community and partnership programs, working with partners like the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) and the Scout Tree Group.
The planting of new trees aims to address losses due to age or weather-related damage. Mature tree cover helps provide natural shade during hot summer days, absorb water from rainfall events and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – making Windsor a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly city.
In addition to the planting of trees, much goes into Windsor’s annual greening efforts. The City, through the Forestry and Horticulture teams, is proud to highlight the following annual accomplishments in Windsor:
Growing, planting and maintaining over 200,00 annuals, 78,000 tulip bulbs, 75,000 specialty plants and 15,000 perennials
Caring for 10,000 trees and shrubs in the nursery
Planting over 300,000 square feet of floral and shrub beds
Enhancing the city’s landscape with 1,000 hanging baskets, 300 bridge planters, and 1,000 self-watering planters
Beautifying 62 separate areas (including business improvement areas [BIAs]) across the community
For more information about the City of Windsor’s urban forest, visit the forestry pages of CityWindsor.ca.
"I remain proud of the ongoing work the City of Windsor has undertaken, and the tremendous accomplishments we’ve made to expand the tree population, invest in greenery, and develop Windsor’s urban canopy. By investing in Windsor through urban forestry, we are creating a greener, cleaner, more welcoming Windsor for all to enjoy while reducing carbon emissions and positively impacting the environment here in Windsor, and beyond." - Mayor Drew Dilkens
"The Forestry and Horticulture teams play a pivotal role in facilitating the Parks Department's council direction to provide city parks and open spaces that contribute to the well-being of both physical and psychological health of the people that use and live near them. They strengthen our communities both physically and economically, by making neighbourhoods more attractive places to 'live, work and play.'" - James Chacko, Executive Director, Parks and Facilities