Mississauga pursues plan to keep woodlands, forests healthy for decades to come
Published November 11, 2022 at 11:53 am
Mississauga is developing a more complete plan to preserve and enhance woodlands and forests across the city.
Already home to some 2.1 million trees, Mississauga will see that number grow dramatically under the One Million Trees Mississauga initiative that seeks to add that many more new trees by 2032.
In the more immediate future, City of Mississauga officials are seeking public input as they develop a Woodland Management Plan in the coming months. The hope is to have the final plan in place by April 2023.
Development of such a plan is part of the City’s larger effort to acquire forest certification of 36 local woodlands to ensure they are responsibly managed moving forward.
As part of that process, officials are asking for residents’ feedback to prioritize management objectives for the three dozen woodlands identified across Mississauga. Objectives include woodland and tree health, recreation, safety, tree biodiversity and wildlife habitat/environmental protection.
The City says forest certification is the process of “verifying that forest management activities are sustainable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial by enforcing certain standards and levels of monitoring their performance.”
The public can provide feedback in several ways:
- participate in an online woodland management webinar on Nov. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m.
- take part in a woodland walk on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Deer Wood Park (1100 Rathburn Rd. W.)
- complete an online woodland management survey by Dec. 6
Vistit/search Your Say Woodland Management for more information and to participate in feedback opportunities.
Mississauga officials say development of an official strategy/plan and getting forest certification are important for the city’s future, specifically the next 20 years as the plan would take hold.
“The City of Mississauga is pursuing a woodland management plan because it will act as a guiding document in the management of the City-owned woodland resource,” the City says in an online document outlining its woodland/forestry goals.
Specifically, officials note, the plan will provide:
- a comprehensive overview of woodland health, diversity, size, risk and tree regeneration
- overall management objectives for the woodland resource
- targets and methods to achieve those indicators of success
Officials add that the need for a woodland management plan was identified in both the City Urban Forest Management Plan and the Natural Heritage and Urban Forest Strategy.
“It will provide the necessary information to allow responsible and professional management for the 20-year planning period,” the City says.
Smaller than forests, a woodland is a complex ecosystem comprised of communities of trees, shrubs and ground vegetation as well as the physical environment that surrounds it.
In Mississauga, a woodland is defined, in one way, as any area greater than 0.5 hectares that has a tree crown cover of 60 per cent of the ground.
Forest certification also provides a professional framework for the management, monitoring and administration of woodlands, the City notes. And third-party auditing provides increased confidence to the public in the responsible management of all certified forests, officials add.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising