Three years, six neighbourhoods, 5,700 trees inventoried, countless kilometres covered. Trees Please has wrapped up this autumn, but with the Urban Forest Strategy now underway in Hamilton, the legacy of this project will continue to make change in the city.
This year, Trees Please focused on the North End neighbourhood and the Sherman Hub. The North End is bounded by the rail tracks to the south, the harbour to the north and west, and Wellington Street to the east. The air quality in this neighbourhood is influenced by adjacent industry in the northeast, as well as by the nearby 403 and active railway. The neighbourhood has also seen a great deal of change with the revitalisation of the waterfront, and much more evolution is already underway. The Sherman Hub is comprised of the Gibson, Stipley, St. Clair, and Blakely neighbourhoods, extending from Wentworth to Gage, and from the escarpment to the rail tracks. The hub is transected by several major roads, including Barton, Cannon, King, and Main, leading to heavy traffic use throughout. To the north, the industrial area affects many residents, with homes steps away from industry around the Lucy Day Park area. Tim Horton’s Field attracts a lot of visitors to the neighbourhood.
With the help of outstanding volunteers, we inventoried one thousand trees per neighbourhood. The trees measured in the North End are contributing $45,158 of ecosystem services and removing 279,062 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. In Sherman, the benefits are valued at $47,234 and 299,280 pounds of CO2 removed. Littleleaf Lindens, Norway Maples, Honylocusts, and Freeman Maples dominated, but many interesting and unique species were also encountered throughout the parks and private trees. We particularly love seeing Kentucky Coffeetrees across the city with their thick bean pods and unique bi-pinnately compound leaves – the largest of any native species in Canada. The City Forestry department is diversifying their selections as we all push for more native species, and for a more resilient urban canopy in the face of climate change.
This project thrived with the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers. Drawn in by a love of trees and desire to learn more, volunteers joined us as we covered each of our six neighbourhoods over three years. Together we honed tree identification skills, assessed air quality issues, and got a deep understanding of the particular challenges in each neighbourhood. From students interested in learning how to measure trees, to local parents concerned about their neighbourhood’s air quality, to folks simply intrigued by our urban forest close to home, our volunteers came from many backgrounds and priorities. One of our most dedicated volunteers, Jeff, came out almost every week to inventory with us in both neighbourhoods! We appreciate every single person who came out to measure trees and see what Trees Please was all about!
We want to thank our numerous volunteers for their time and effort over the three years of the Trees Please Project. You have made a difference in the city and we look forward to working together to improve Hamilton’s urban forest.
Trees Please is a project of Environment Hamilton and the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.