Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan

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What is the urban forest?

Ottawa's urban forest includes all trees and their habitat within the City's urban boundary. This includes trees on both public and private property:

  • along city streets
  • in parks, open spaces and natural areas
  • in the yards and landscaped areas of residences, offices, institutions, and businesses

The urban forest is a shared resource that provides a wide range of benefits and services to the entire community.

What is Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan?

Putting Down Roots for the Future” is the City of Ottawa’s 20-year strategic Urban Forest Management Plan. Adopted by Council in June 2017,  the plan provides a comprehensive long-term vision and strategic direction for Ottawa’s urban forest.

The Urban Forest Management Plan recognizes the value and importance of the urban forest and supports ongoing stewardship of this valuable asset.

The plan includes 26 recommendations and is broken down into five four-year management periods, to guide the City and its partners in working towards achieving the vision, principles, and objectives for the urban forest.

Contact Person:

Martha Copestake
Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department
613-580-2424, ext. 17922

Vision and objectives for Ottawa’s urban forest

The Urban Forest Management Plan sets a vision for how Ottawa’s urban forest will appear in 20 years. Ottawa’s urban forest vision is of an urban forest that is healthy, diverse, resilient, and always growing. It sustains vibrant, livable, and unique neighbourhoods and promotes health and well-being equitably for all of the city’s residents and visitors. The vision of Putting Down Roots for the Future will be realized, in part, through the achievement of seven strategic objectives.

Please refer to the full Urban Forest Management Plan for details on each recommendation and when they will be undertaken.

urban forest management plan benefits - facts and objectives

Criteria and indicators

The Urban Forest Management Plan includes a built-in monitoring system through a framework of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Urban Forest Management. This performance assessment framework is a widely accepted system for monitoring urban forest management has been used by municipalities in Ontario and across Canada. These criteria and indicators will continue to be reassessed at the end of each management period as a way to determine progress and inform planning of future work.

As demonstrated by the Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Urban Forest Management, during the first management period the City saw progress in areas of cooperation and appreciation of trees, canopy cover assessment, and urban forest protection and retention. The progress demonstrated in the criteria and indicators reflects the goals and projects undertaken during the first management period.

For more details on the criteria and indicators and the progress during the first management period, please check the Urban Forest Management Plan Update Report