Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tree Eats Fence

Isn't the power of growing trees amazing? This tree at High Park in Esquimalt, growing beside a chain link fence along a path, has over the years enveloped the metal inside its own expanding substance.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Giants Overthrown in Oak Bay

Giant sequoias, splendid and healthy, five feet across at chest-height to a man, are being chopped down near York Place and Oak Bay Avenue because someone put a house in their way in 1982. Extraordinary trees vs undistinguished unnecessary building: building always wins.
We need regulations against building so close to growing trees that the trees will be doomed in the long run (or short run).
Leave some space for giants. There can be too much housing density. The goal of a city should not be to pack as many people in as possible, their quality of life and access to natural beauty dwindling year by year. Only developers profit, everyone else gets poorer. Responsible government(s) would have the backbone to state the facts when a region is FULL.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tree Watch supports initiative to fundraise for purchase of lot next to Gonzales Park, if municipalities fail to do it

If Victoria rejected the proposed development and tree removal alongside Abkhazi Garden in November 2017
why is it considering variances and permission for the destruction inherent in the Madros application for the north side of Gonzales Park?
According to Mayor Helps: "... protect the Garry oaks – which I think this council is very committed to –"  According to Councillor Madoff: "“If we keep densifying in this way, nobody’s going to want to live in Victoria, because we’re destroying the very thing people want to experience".  How is this consistent with not doing what it takes to create a buffer zone around unique and historic Gonzales Park?
Neighbours and green space defenders are united against this sort of spoliation of natural habitat. Zebra Group who profits from land development and the spoiling of public land adjacent to private land, is fighting for their "client" the Madros couple; why aren't municipal councils fighting for theirs, i.e. the public (park-users and park-defenders)?
What we need is the establishment not only of parks but of BUFFER ZONES around parks, as well as VARIANCE-FREE ZONES in established heritage neighbourhoods. The more overcrowded and densified the CRD gets, the more urgent this is.
The CRD should purchase the property on which the Madroses wish to build a monster house and blast the natural landscape. (Rock counts too!)
If the CRD won't use its Land Acquisition Fund as it was meant to be used, then Victoria and Oak Bay should purchase the property.

"Greater Victoria lost the equivalent of 12 Beacon Hill Parks in tree cover over six years," according to a study by the non-profit society Habitat Acquisition Trust.  Canopy cover is now down to about 7% . Given that Toronto's is 27%, Vancouver's is 18%, and deforestation is the main driver of climate change worldwide, this is shameful.  We need more trees, not more monster houses.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Will trees survive in playground?

Tent City was brutal for the shrubs and trees there, which seen as mere objects rather than living organisms. Will they fare better and will more be added, when the site becomes a playground? Will there be green space as well as playground space? Green space is sorely needed in a downtown setting. Let's hope the playground equipment will be made of wood and stone, rather than plastic, and that there will be a peaceful area for picnicking alongside.

Answer: no, most didn't survive. 

Wild and domestic animals and songbirds are thirsty

Let's all put out bowls of water anywhere we can -- gardens and boulevards. Creeks and ponds are getting low and stagnant. Make a spray for hummingbirds to shower in -- watch them arrive out of nowhere! Spray the leaves of trees for birds to find cupped water.
Raccoons are having a hard time digging insects out of hard dry grass. Making a wet patch helps. Be compassionate!

Restricting common sense

The CRD reservoir at Sooke is more than usually full, yet that water lies idle while grass fires keep erupting. Keeping the ground damp prevents fire, obviously, yet we have water restrictions. We use a lot more when the fires need to be put out. Brown grass is fuel, and water-less plantings are dead.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Climate change wasn't new in the 20th century

"We had better be without gold than without timber."
Horticulturalist John Evelyn wrote this in 1664 (in England), already fearing the day all the forests would have disappeared, and presumably urging conservation of this most valuable resource.
Alexander von Humboldt in 18th century Germany, warned against the deforestation he saw in Europe, Russia and South America, for fuel and ship building. He, one of our earliest ecologists, saw how deforestation changed both soils and rainfall. Climate change started long before our own era.  it wasn't and still isn't fundamentally about emissions, it's about Earth losing her forest cover and the cooling and the hydrologic cycle that goes with it.