Sunnyside Acres in South Surrey has been a dedicated urban forest for more than 30 years. (Surrey.ca photo)

‘Value of Trees’ event to be held in South Surrey

Guest speaker to touch on health impacts of trees

An urban forestry and environment researcher at the University of British Columbia is to share her findings and speak to the importance of mature trees at a South Surrey event later this month.

Lorien Nesbitt is to be the feature speaker at the Ocean Park Beautification Committee’s ‘Value of Mature Trees and Community Health’ event, scheduled to take place Sept. 7, at 7 p.m., in the Ocean Park Community Hall (1577 128 St.).

Nesbitt told Peace Arch News over the phone last week that she plans to touch on the health and social benefits of trees, and of particular interest to her, the benefits of “greenness exposure.”

“Usually the focus is trees, and those can be street trees, backyard trees or trees in parks,” Nesbitt said when asked to describe greenness exposure. “There’s also some evidence that having spaces that are somewhat natural is beneficial.”

Nesbitt said there can be a positive psychological benefit that comes with being able to “look out your window and see something green, like even grass or shrubs or a nice garden.”

“Sometimes, our community gardens are really important for our neighbourhood.”

One focus of the upcoming event is mature trees.

Nesbitt said there has been some recent research conducted by the U.S. Forest Service that suggests that mature trees start to pay back their investment after 35-50 years.

“We’re starting to quantify shading, reducing temperature, improving air quality, reducing flooding. Big trees are a lot better than small trees, but of course, trees cost money to grow,” she said.

In her research, Nesbitt has investigated Surrey, and how it manages urban forestry.

“Surrey is actually considered a leader in British Columbia, and even in Canada, in terms of the resources that goes into managing city trees and in some of the policies that govern trees on private property,” she said.

Surrey is also, she noted, one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the province, which also comes with its own set of challenges.

READ MORE: Surrey council has approved 50,000 trees for the axes: Pettigrew

READ MORE: Surrey reviewing tree protection bylaw after request from environmental committee

One of which is balancing urban forestry with the requirement of land to service the increasing population.

“I know that as a city, it’s something that Surrey struggles with. Trying to make sure that trees are maintained to provide all of the benefits…” she said. “But then also making sure that there’s space for the community to grow.”

Nesbitt said there seems to be more public awareness, in recent years, on the importance of urban trees.

“When I first started in urban forestry over a decade ago, a lot of people appreciated urban trees but they didn’t pay attention to them… they took them for granted,” she said.

She said she encourages questions from the audience at the event, as one of her objectives is to learn what’s important to the residents – with respect to urban trees – in the South Surrey area.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Lorien Nesbitt will speak about the value of mature trees during a Sept. 7 presentation at Ocean Park Community Hall.

Just Posted

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

South Surrey couple donates $250K to students in honour of late son

Joseph Chung Scholarship Fund helps out 100 post-secondary students

Surrey RCMP investigate report of explosion at home

‘Emotionally elevated’ person taken ‘safely’ into custody: police

Man killed in fall from 3 Civic Plaza balcony in Surrey

Heavy emergency services presence in plaza at the skyscraper, at 13475 Central Ave.

Outdoor skating rink at free Winter Festival in Surrey, with food trucks and more

At Guildford Town Centre, hit the ice for free with your own skates or rent some for donation

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read