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Posts Tagged ‘Royal City Park’

A young mom was visiting Royal City Park with her son, where 52 mature trees deemed to be unsafe by the City of Guelph are being removed. 

She sent this sensitive account to Guelph Urban Forest Friends, who gave us permission to publish it on Royal City Rag.

My son thought that the signs on the trees were because people were saying that they were cool trees and this one (pictured) had a built-in fort (the big one that has 3 trunks all together.)

I read the sign to him, and said that the ribbons were there because these trees were going to be cut down.

He said, “Why are they going to cut them down?”

I responded, “Because they are old.”

And his profound kid response was, “Why don’t they just let them fall down?”

I smiled, at how amazing it was that a 6 year old could be so smart, and then was sad.

Sometimes the answers are so clear, but then the world puts it all upside down.

Guelph Urban Forest Friends have long been advocating for our urban trees, including a stronger protective tree bylaw and a separate urban forestry department with a certified forester to more effectively manage tree maintenance and coordinate public education on the value of our mature trees.

If you feel strongly about this issue, please contact Mayor and Council. Please help us try and stop the tree removal in Royal City Park from happening elsewhere in the city.

Contacting Guelph City Council

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map

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We were back on the air for our first Royal City Rag of a new year on January 9. As usual it was a busy show.

We started off the show with some of our favourite music from 2009 followed by a commentary about the 52 mature trees in Royal City Park that have condemned for removal and now display bright orange Xs. The removal of the trees is expected to be carried out on January 18.

The condemned trees have now become a focus for local people who are already mourning their loss. Members of a new group Friends of Royal City Park have attached poems and stories to the trees as an act of commemoration. Bearing in mind that some of the trees in the park are over a hundred years, they contain the memories of several generations of Guelphites. The removal of the trees will permanently alter the character and beauty of the park. 25% of the canopy of the park will disappear overnight.

You have to ask why so many trees need to be removed at the same time. Have the trees in this park been managed appropriately by the city? Are trees in other areas of the city also at risk?

Guelph Urban Forest Friends have long been advocating for our urban trees, including a stronger protective tree bylaw and a separate urban forestry department with a certified forester to more effectively manage tree maintenance and coordinate public education on the value of our mature trees.

Our main interview in the first hour was a discussion with Liane Langstaff and Daniela Serodio, Co-Directors about the upcoming 16th Annual Environmental Science Symposium taking place in Rozanski Hall at the University of Guelph on January 16. This year focus is the relationship between business and economic systems and environmental sustainability. Featured presenters include Frank de Jong (Former Leader of the Ontario Green Party), Dr. David Bell (Chair of Learning for a Sustainable Future) and Frances Edmonds (Director of HP Eco Solutions Programs). For more information visit their website.

Tickets:  $12 Student Admission with ID ($17 at the door), $15 General Admission ($20 at the door). Tickets are available at the University of Guelph UC Information Desk, Stone Store, Woolwich Arms and Online through PayPal via the 16th Annual Environmental Sciences Symposium website.

Listen to Hour 1:

Ian Reid Live in The Studio

In the second hour, Rockwood’s own Ian Reid joined us for a great live set featuring some new songs as well as old favourites. If you haven’t heard Ian play live you really should check him out. Look for a new album this Spring. Check out his first two albums, “Somewhere Inbetween” and “Tiger School” at Ground Floor Music, Quebec St, Downtown Guelph. You can also catch Ian Reid on Saturday, January 16 at 9.30 p.m. at the Woolwich Arrow Pub, 176 Woolwich St, Guelph. Check out his music. You’ll not be disappointed.

Listen to Hour 2:

Music:
Monsters Of Folk, Dear God from Monsters Of Folk
Wilco, You And I from Wilco (The Album)
Levon Helm, You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had from Electric Dirt
James Gordon, Another Silver Maple Comes Down from Nine Green Bottles
Tannis Slimmon, Around Him from Lucky Blue
Ian Reid, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, And Understanding (Live In The Studio)
Ian Reid, Bruce (Live In The Studio)
Ian Reid, Stoplight (Live In The Studio)
Ian Reid, Banh Mi Opelet from Tiger School (Live In The Studio)
Ian Reid, Sunday Blue from Tiger School (Live In The Studio)
Ian Reid, Wish You Well from Somewhere Inbetween (Live In The Studio)

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Condemned For Removal. Can We Not Do Better?

It seems that the 52 mature trees in Royal City Park condemned for removal have now been marked with bright orange “X”s indicating that they are to be cut down. The removal of the trees is expected to be commenced on January 18.

In the meantime local people, who love the trees in the park, have started attaching poems and stories to the condemned trees as an act of commemoration.

In early December, 35 people attended a vigil in the park to commemorate the trees and talk about how they will be personally affected by the avoidable loss of yet more of our green heritage.

You can listen to the powerful audio from the vigil here:

The removal of the trees will permanently alter the character and beauty of the park. 25% of the canopy of the park will disappear overnight.

You have to ask why so many trees need to be removed at the same time.

Royal City Park... Soon It Will Just Be A Memory

Have the trees in this park been managed appropriately by the city?

Are trees in other areas of the city also at risk?

Guelph Urban Forest Friends have long been advocating for our urban trees, including a stronger protective tree bylaw and a separate urban forestry department with a certified forester to more effectively manage tree maintenance and coordinate public education on the value of our mature trees. 

For more information on GUFF, visit their website at www.guffguelph.ca.

Contacting Guelph City Council

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map

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We were back on air with a busy Royal City Rag on December 5. Apologies to all our faithful listeners for being missing in action this past two weeks.

In the first hour of the show, Annie O’Donoghue, President of the Guelph Civic League joined us to chat about the current municipal budgeting process and some suggested improvements that would allow citizens to feel more involved in the decision making process. She also reminded everyone  about their opportunity to hear Mayor Farbridge deliver her State of the City address at 10 Carden Street on December 10 at 5.30 p.m. A question and answer session will follow her presentation.

Listen to Hour 1:

Royal City Park

In the second hour we played some powerful audio from the Friends of the Royal City Park Community Tree Vigil that took place on December 4.

On November 23, Guelph City Council approved an Operations Dept. plan to remove 52 mature trees from Royal City Park. 

The removal of the trees, including some of the heritage veteran silver maples, and the potential for the loss of 5-7 more trees per year for the next 20 years will permanently alter the character and beauty of the park. 

35 people attended the vigil to commemorate the trees and talk about how they will be personally affected by the avoidable loss of yet more of our green heritage.

Guelph Urban Forest Friends have long been advocating for our urban trees, including a stronger protective tree bylaw and a separate urban forestry department with a certified forester to more effectively manage tree maintenance and coordinate public education on the value of our mature trees. For more information on GUFF, visit their website at www.guffguelph.ca.

Listen to the audio from the Royal City Park Community Tree Vigil:

Later in the hour we talked to Simon Irving, Artistic Director of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra about their upcoming holiday season performances; The Snowman on December 13 and Dreams of Vienna on January 1. Tickets for both shows are available from the River Run Centre.

Listen to hour 2:

Music:
Lindisfarne, Winter Song from Nicely Out Of Tune
Jennifer Noxon, Other Side Of Winter from Let It Snow (Compliation)
James Gordon, There Is No Silent Night from Mining For Gold
Roxanne Potvin, No Love For The Poisonous from No Love For The Poisonous
Good Lovelies, Maybe This Time from Under The Mistletoe
Katherine Wheatley, 99 Feet Of Snow from Habits and Heroes
James Gordon, Another Silver Maple Comes Down from Nine Green Bottles
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Walking In the Air from The Christmas Album (Compilation)
Kevin Breit, Sunnyside Up from Folkalarm

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Friends of Royal City Park Invite You to A Community Tree Vigil

When: Friday December 4  from 7.oo to 8.oo p.m.

Where: At Royal City Park, meet at the Gordon and Water Street Park Entrance Trail

Come and share your memories with us of what these trees and this park means to you and how their loss will affect you.

NOTE: We are not affiliated with any other group. We are gathering to express our thanks and love for the trees in Royal City Park especially the nearly 100-year-old silver maples.

Please bring your own mug for hot apple cider.

A Brief History Of Royal City Park

Royal City Park

By the late 1800’s less than 5%-6% of the original forest in the Grand River Watershed basin, which includes Guelph, was left standing. Guelph was a fairly desolate place at that time.

In 1909, the ladies of the I.O.D.E., Victoria Guelph Chapter donated money to the city for park planning. Thus, “The IODE was given an opportunity to name this new park. It was named Royal City Park (the Coronation of King George V had just occured in June) and confirmed by City Council, September 28, 1911. Fifty elm trees and 99 maples were planted in 1910” (2). It is believed that some of the original silver maples planted 99 years ago are still standing (3, p. 20)

On November 23, 2009 Guelph City Council voted to approve the “Royal City Park Plant Material Management Plan” which will allow the cutting and removal of 52 trees in Royal City Park, including medium hazard trees, in January, 2010. In addition, the planning report states “It is anticipated that over the next 20 years, approximately 103 mature trees will likely need to be removed. These are currently in fair condition. On average 5-7 of these trees may need to be removed annually because of poor health or presence of hazards” (3, p 12).

The removal of 52 trees, including some of the heritage veteran silver maples, and the potential for the loss of 5-7 more trees per year for the next 20 years (3) will permanently alter the character and beauty of the park as we see it today.

The Friends of Royal City Park would like to chronicle the life of the park in memories and photographs of individuals and families who have enjoyed the park since 1911.  We would like to assemble a pictorial memory book consisting of photos and stories about the park which will be collected and donated to the Guelph Civic Museum in honour of the 100th Anniversary of Royal City Park in 2011.

Anyone who would like to share their pictures or memories can email them to: friendsofroyalcitypark@gmail.com or

mail them to:
Dr. D.P. Murr, Professor Emeritus
Department of Plant Agriculture
Room 3106, E.C. Bovey Building
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON   N1G 2W1

References: 

  1. From: “A Forest Plan for the Grand River Watershed”. Grand River Conservation Authority, 2004. On p. 9 – “Forest cover was reduced to around 5 or 6% during the 1800’s – a virtual clear cut of the entire watershed in the short span of one century. And on p.15 – “…to our eyes the denuded landscape of the Grand River Valley a century ago would have looked utterly desolate“.
  2. From: Ross Irwin’s booklet “Guelph Parks and Recreation 1830-1960” as cited in Royal City Park Plant Material Management Plan prepared by Silv-Econ Ltd., with assistance from City of Guelph Operations and Parks Planning staff, October 26, 2009.
  3. Royal City Park Plant Material Management Plan. Silv-Econ Ltd., with assistance from City of Guelph Operations and Parks Planning staff, October 26, 2009.

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On November 23, Guelph City Council approved an Operations Dept. plan to remove 54 mature trees from Royal City Park. Guelph Urban Forest Friends (GUFF) and Sierra Club Canada made delegations explaining why some of the trees should be retained. 

View the GUFF presentation

View the Sierra Club Canada presentation

At the council meeting, Councillor Piper requested that the citizens be encouraged to buy trees for planting in the park next spring. Our response is below.

If you have concerns about the reduction of our urban forest canopy, please contact  your councillors and request that some of our tax base go to maintenance and protection of our trees. The budget is being discussed December 8 at City Council.

Dear Councillor Piper:

Regarding your suggestion for GUFF to support citizen donations of trees for Royal City Park .

The goal of GUFF has always been to advocate for tree maintenance and protection, as well as increase, through having an urban forestry department with a forester. This person, as head of a separate, dedicated department could also coordinate the public education for the value of our mature canopy which is so necessary in the face of extreme climate events in our future. Of course, there would be a strong protective bylaw for delivery of this vital service.

That said, many Guffers do enjoy planting trees with the wonderful Speed River Project every year. Many also take part in the annual Rotary sponsored tree planting outside the city at Guelph Lake. Although the thousands of trees planted in the township contribute to our benefits of greening, we do need more trees inside the city to counter the heat island effect that comes from a busy city with its grey infrastructure and  transportation corridors. I wonder if Guelph Rotary would be interested in planting in the city next spring.

GUFF has listed many benefits of trees in our new powerpoint on Sustainable Guelph. We hope that you will look at it and pass it on…. and will support Guelph’s canopy with a strong protective tree bylaw, an urban forestry department and a forester.

Thanks for sharing GUFF’s concern for our ‘upstanding residents’, the trees.

Respectfully yours,

Guelph Urban Forest Friends

Contacting Guelph City Council

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map

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We’re back on air with a busy Royal City Rag on December 5. Apologies to all our faithful listeners for being missing in action this past two weeks.

It’s budget season at City Hall. After receiving citizen delegations regarding the budget for 2010 on December 8, city council will vote on the final budget for the city on December 15.

In the first hour of the show, Annie O’Donoghue, President of the Guelph Civic League will join us to chat about the current municipal budgetting process and some suggested improvements that would allow citizens to feel more involved in the decision making process.

In the second hour we’ll be talking to Simon Irving, Artistic Director of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra about their upcoming holiday season performances. We’ll also be playing some audio from the Friends of the Royal City Park tree vigil that took place on December 4.

Should be a fun show. Join us on Saturday 7-9 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm or after the fact via the website.

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