District 5 Candidate Reponses
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HRM 2016 Municipal Election
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Candidates Questionnaire on the Urban Forest - Response Summary
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District 5 Candidates
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QuestionSam AustinAdam BowesNed MilburnTim RissescoKate WatsonWarren Wesson
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1. Why are trees important to you?I just loving having them around. They beautify my neighbourhood, they provide shade when I sit outside in the summer and they provide space for birds.Trees are a connection to nature and to our past and they give our neighbourhoods character. I live in an older part of Dartmouth and my tiny house is dwarfed by two massive trees. The leaves sounds beautiful in the wind..and the massive amount of raking has to be good for my health, right?Community building (studies have shown shade trees provide a place for humans to congregate), Peace (studies have shown that trees dampen city machinery noises and help calm people's spirits), Environment (trees help filter our air, store excess rainwater, help stabilize soil against erosion), Recreation (how many kids DON'T enjoy climbing trees?), Trees bring birds.Trees: combat climate change; clean the air; provide oxygen; cool the streets and provide shade – blocking UV rays; help conserve energy; prevent soil erosion; provide food; and are good for our health & well being.Trees have a huge beneficial impact on the environment, they support wildlife, they provide shade, recreation and beauty. They make a city a more desirable place to live!Oxygen, nesting for Birds. Shade. Piece of mind.
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2. Can you relate a fond memory of trees or a tree in particular?I grew up in the country and played in the woods a lot. Building forts and cities in the forest and climbing trees was part of childhood. In my Dartmouth neighbourhood, I look forward to seeing the big Magnolia at the corner of Maple and Dahlia bloom each year.Growing up on Livingstone St. in Halifax, the trees produced bunches of little orange berries -we called them 'dog berries'. When they showed up in the fall, my brother and I would pick handfuls to throw at each other on the walk to school. Too many to share!! Tree climbing as a kid, walking through forests, enjoying the largest and oldest cherry tree in Japan, enjoying my backyard trees with the birds and ripple of the wind in their leaves...I remember planting trees as a Cub and thinking about how I was helping to rebuild a forest. As a child, I learned that as an individual you can have an impact.There was a beautiful little copse of trees by my suburban home when I was growing up. It was a place I could go where I could imagine and play. Climbing trees as a child a favorite past time
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3. Why are trees important in HRM and your district in particular?Trees provide us with so much. They provide shade in the summer, absorb excess storm water and pollutants, increase property values, can calm traffic and provide a key link to nature in an increasingly nature-starved world. We need nature and green around us and trees fill a big part of that role in our urban areas.In addition to all the reasons listed in the Urban Forest Master Plan, I can't stop thinking about the excited Facebook post by my neighbour, Crystal, on Windmill Rd when she saw new trees being planted on the median by her house. People have a connection with trees, they are calming and beautiful. I have lived in several urban areas in Montreal, Toronto, Japan, and have visited others in Spain, France, and New York. The most pleasing urban experiences I have had are when the city had an abundance of trees and greenery. Dartmouth STILL has an abundance of trees and greenery, but there are examples of "in-filling" with new building developments that remove most green-space and replace it with cement and asphalt. We must avoid the trend of removal of green space and trees in our neighbourhoods.Parks and Recreation are important for HRM and particularly important for DIstrict 5. District 5 is fortunate to have beautiful parks with mature trees, an urban orchard and forested areas. The trees provide many benefits to the residents - shade, food and peaceful spaces.Dartmouth is proud of its lakes and green spaces. Our trees give lend character to our streets and are a source of local pride.Birds need nesting areas. I need a place to compose my thoughts.
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HRM's Urban Forest Master Plan
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4. Which UFMP neighbourhoods does your district occupy (if applicable)?
(The correct answer for District 5 includes, in no particular order:Southdale/North Woodside, Albro Lake, Dartmouth Central, Harbourview, Park Avenue, Austenville, Crichton Park, Downtown Dartmouth, Hawthorne, Graham's Corner, Silver's Hill, Lakefront, Manor Park, Woodside Industrial Park)
Many in DartmouthMy district (District 5 - Dartmouth Centre) is comprised of the following UFMP neighbourhoods: Dartmouth Central, Albro Lake, Crichton Park, Harbourview, Park Avenue, Austenville, Downtown Dartmouth, Hawthorne, Silver's Hill, Lakefront, Graham's Corner, Manor Park, Southdale / North Woodside, Woodside Industrial ParkThe 460 page PDF won't display properly on my web browser. I cannot answer this question.South Woodside, Dartmouth Central, Harbourview, Park Avenue, Austenville, Crichton Park, Downtown Dartmouth, Hawthorne, Silvers Hill, Lakefront, Graham's Corner, Manor Park,, Woodside Industrial Park and Southdale/North Woodside.DartmouthDartmouth Centre
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5. As we approach the end of the 5-year initial time-frame in 2017, do you believe these priorities have been adequately addressed? Where is there room for the most significant improvement?One issue that I see in my district is that there are several big stumps from trees taking up space along our residential streets. I have been told by neighbours that some of them are from Hurricane Juan. Juan was 13 years ago now. Past time to remove the stumps and replant.Well, I am proof that we can do more to educate our residents. Reading through the UFMP and filling out this survey has been eye opening. I had honestly never heard of the Sierra Club or thought much about the reality of our urban forest. Most residents know nothing of this plan, so communication of the plan has been lacking. Further public education and engagement is important, and it is also VERY important to make sure that all new developments are required to consider green-space courtyard areas, green-space "relaxation" areas (ie: some wider green spaces in the Baker Drive Sobeys/Kent parking area would have been a benefit), or "green" rooftops similar to the new Halifax Library. It is not always about spending more money; rather, it is important to be careful and considerate in our actions and decisions.We need to continue to plant more trees and provide maintenance to the existing trees.These priorities are being addresses, but there is always room for improvement!Communication with the contractors paid to maintain municipal land.
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Looking Forward
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QuestionSam AustinAdam BowesNed MilburnTim RissescoKate WatsonWarren Wesson
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6. What do you believe is the greatest threat to the HRM urban forest? In your district specifically?In many Dartmouth neighbourhoods there is almost a mono-culture of Norway Maples that are all about the same age. If they were lost all at once through disease, old age, or another major storm (they're shallow rooting and brittle), we could lose a large portion of our tree cover.As I write this, my district is under unprecedented water restrictions - a reminder that the climate is changing. I worried about the effects of climate change on our urban forest. I am also worried about the effect of development on our trees as Dartmouth looks to be headed towards a development boom. Infilling with concrete and asphalt in our rush for higher density.In District 5, we need to maintain our tree so that mature trees are not lost to storms and disease and we need to continue to rejuvenate the forest with plantings.Development that does not prioritize the protection of existing trees and the planting of new trees.Shrinking meadowlands on Harbourfront Trail.
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7. What role do you suggest citizens play in supporting a healthy urban forest?Citizens are great advocates and provide eyes on the street for the health of our trees. There are a lot of non-profit environmental groups in our city who have contributed a great deal to developing our urban forest.We need our citizens to be aware of the urban forest and feel a sense of ownership of the trees in our community. We need to champion the cause and talk to our neighbours about the many benefits of planting and maintaining our urban trees. Educate oneself, and speak up through community groups and directly to one's Councillor.Citizens can plant trees on their properties and participate in public plantinfs in parks.Citizens need to speak up and say the urban forest is vital to the health and vitality of our urban centre.I think most people just need to understand the life Trees support.
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8. How will you promote and contribute to a healthy urban forest as Councillor?I will continue to support the Urban Forest Master Plan and will be a voice to maintain funding for tree planting in our urban areas.I will work to make room in the budget for new trees, maintenance and education and I will become an advocate for our trees!Require the discussion of green space minimum provisions for all future developments.Promote and support public plantings and urban orchardsI will support and champion the Urban Forest Master Plan.Refer to 7. No trees .. means no life for many species of birds and is a health issue for humans,
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9. What changes would you like to see to your district’s urban forest in the next 10 years?Additional planting of a wider variety of native species, more emphasis on stump removal and the introduction of trees to some fairly treeless areas like Downtown Dartmouth and Wyse Road. I would also like to see more fruit trees planted in Dartmouth's parks.More edible trees and more public engagement and education.First, let's not lose what we have. Second, let's identify areas that could have green spaces expanded and/or enhanced.more fruit treesI'd like to see the inclusion of more fruit and nut-bearing trees.Not so much change as rather than just keep advocating for more green space.
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QuestionSam AustinAdam BowesNed MilburnTim RissescoKate WatsonWarren Wesson
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