The City of Selkirk is planting seeds today to ensure a healthy tomorrow with a tree farm that will enhance parks and green space throughout the community for years to come.
Director of Operations Dan McDermid said the trees will begin their life at the tree farm and as they grow will be transplanted at locations throughout the city to improve Selkirk’s urban canopy.
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,” McDermid said.
“But the next best time is now.”
350 trees planted this year, many more to come
The tree farm will benefit current residents, as well as future generations, as it will continually provide a source of new trees. Fifteen types of trees will be planted, including shrubs, evergreens and flowering trees, so the city will be filled with a wide variety of tree life.
The multi-year program will begin this year with the planting of 350 trees.
The city’s Strategic Plan calls for a vibrant, safe and healthy community through the continued development of Selkirk’s natural features and outdoor spaces, and for the city to lead with environmental stewardship by improving city practices and services and encouraging more environmentally responsible development.
CAO Duane Nicol said the tree farm is environmentally responsible and definitely helps create a vibrant, safe and healthy community. By planting and growing a wide variety of trees, Nicol said the city will create a canopy that is capable of withstanding the elements; if there’s an outbreak of disease in a certain type of tree, the city’s urban forest will survive because of its diversity.
“The best way to deal with outbreaks of illness or disease is to have a diverse urban forest, lots of different species of trees so that we’re not dependent on any one species,” Nicol said.
“One type of insect might attack deciduous trees, other insects are picky and they’ll go to a particular species of trees, so having diversity with our urban canopy, we have some resiliency within our natural system.”
The city is working with the Lord Selkirk School Division to plant the trees at the tree farm, and city staff members are handling the design and layout of the site.
The city has received a $5,000 grant from TD Canada Trust for the tree farm and is working with the East Interlake Conservation District as well.