By Aurore Tanier, Communications Officer and Environmental Projects Coordinator, Regroupement des éco-quartiers (guest blogger)
In partnership with the Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain (Soverdi), the Regroupement des éco-quartiers (REQ) is inviting Montrealers to plant trees on their properties through the A Tree for my Neighborhood campain. The main goals of the campaign are to increase the urban tree canopy, support biodiversity and embellish Montreal neighborhoods. Since 2013, more than 5,500 trees have been planted in the city through this unique collective greening initiative, the only one of its kind in the province.
The essential role of urban nature
In a context of global climate change, a new urban paradigm is arising at the heart of which urban nature is playing an increasingly important role. Trees will always be greatly valued for the way they enhance our quality of life, and for the multiple well-documented benefits they bring to our cities. Trees filter the air we breathe, fight urban heat islands by cooling the air, and support a great diversity of city-dwelling creatures. Trees also play an essential role in adding aesthetic value to our urban landscapes. And the list of benefits goes on…
Trees also provide other less known advantages from which urban communities can benefit. For example, did you know that trees can increase your property value by up to 20% (Ville de Montréal, 2017)? Or that urban nature contributes to human health by offering green spaces favourable to physical and social activities? The presence of trees also exerts a non-negligeable therapeutic effect that contributes to reducing the risks associated with certain physical and mental illnesses.
Trees for everyone
Unfortunately, our urban trees are being mistreated on a daily basis: they are used as bicycle racks or as garbage posts, they are attacked by pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, and so on. We owe them better treatment and we need to ensure their well-being. To accomplish this, we need to recognize the benefits we get from trees, both for their own protection and for the welfare of our environment. Through the A Tree for my Neighborhood initiative, we are helping Montrealers to embrace the important role that trees play in their lives by making it easier to plant them. This action fits within the framework of our environmental education mission based on an approach by and for the people.
All Montreal residents who are interested can purchase one or more trees for a very reasonable price: $25 each ($35 for fruit trees). A wide selection of species and varieties is available. For the spring period, trees can be purchased online at www.unarbrepourmonquartier.org or in person at your local éco-quartier between April 1 and May 31, 2017. Together, let’s make Montreal a greener city!
Visit the project’s profile on Biopolis.