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Letter: Speaking for the trees of Kamloops

I ask that the city create a stronger tree bylaw to protect such trees from development throughout Kamloops
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Editor:

The duplex lot at the corner of Schubert Drive and Kent Avenue has been sold to a single owner. I believe subdivision plans are being considered.

I walk by that lot almost every day. Rooted far longer than the buildings that will rise there is a huge maple tree.

Backed up against the Halston Bridge, it has absorbed and mitigated decades of invasive vibrations and noise.

Through it all, it has never ceased in providing oxygen and shade and has stood as a beautiful green wind block for our neighbourhood. I believe the community will be harmed by its removal and I ask that steps be taken to protect it.

The City of Kamloops website states the municipality has a “goal of increasing our community’s tree canopy to 20 per cent from the current 15 per cent.” This tree is substantial — and part of that 15 per cent.

Three of me could not join hands around the tree’s trunk.

The volume of the canopy, which shields our neighbourhood from the noise of Halston traffic, would not be replaced by other trees for decades.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “shaded surfaces may be 11 C to 25 C cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials. Evapotranspiration, alone or in combination with shading, can help reduce peak summer temperatures by 1 C to 5 C.”

I ask that the city create a stronger tree bylaw to protect such trees from development throughout Kamloops.

Such a bylaw should include a requirement for public consultation before consideration of a tree cutting permit. It should also include an inventory of trees of this nature, beginning with the urban tree tour.

The bylaw needs to be expanded to include trees we love — on private and public land, whether owned by us, others or the city.

Asking children to tell us of the trees they love will promote engagement, help them notice the nature that surrounds them and build their ability to affect their world in a good way.

Shannon McArthur

Kamloops