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Trees and shovels: ready for planting

Forêt Capitale Forest aims to mitigate climate change by increasing the biomass and forest canopy of lands, whether public or private, in the Canada’s capital region.

We carry out and support the planning, planting, and management of lands to maximizes carbon sequestration while preserving and enhancing biological diversity.

FCF also seeks to maximize public engagement and raise awareness of the importance of forests and biodiversity.

INVASIVE SPECIES ALERT: Japanese Beetles

We need your help protecting our trees from the invasive Japanese Beetles. These beetles are found frequently this time of year and cause immense damage to our local vegetation. This is especially evident at our Hog’s Back Park planting sites. They have favoured attacking the Basswood and Yellow Birch on site and now have begun to attack the Bur Oak and Red Oak. They cause immense foliage damage to the 300 species of plants that they prey on. The picture below showcases the extent of damage on one of the Basswoods at Hog’s Back Park.

This interesting story by the CBC discusses some of the management tips for dealing with these beetles. The most effective method for the public to use is a bucket of soapy water. This can be done while walking through your yard and your neighbourhood! It is also why we will be adding a “Beetle Bucket” to our Hog’s Back Park site! The bucket will contain soapy water for beetles to be placed into. The “Beetle Bucket” can be carried from tree to tree to pick up any beetles in sight. It will then stay next to the Water Tote on site for everyone to use!

Fighting back against invasive species is apart of FCF’s mission to care for our afforestation sites after they have been planted. Adding mulch, watering and fighting back against invasive species at our sites will help our trees survive through their younger years of growth. However, we cannot do this alone! We hope to engage the amazing community members that surround sites such as Hog’s Back Park to become stewards of these sites!

If you are interested in fighting back against this invasive species feel free to come by the Hog’s Back Park planting sites for some beetle picking! While you are there our trees would also benefit from being watered. Watering buckets and a watering checklist accompany our watering tote. If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can manage the Japanese Beetles please email us at comms@foretcapitaleforest.ca or contact me directly at innes.buck@foretcapitaleforest.ca.

The “Beetle Bucket” is located next to the Water Tote by Sites 1 and 2 at Hog’s Back Park.

How Nature Can Save Us Money – Interesting New Study

As we have all expected being around nature makes us healthier! Exposure to green spaces has long been documented as being beneficial to our health. These health benefits include decreased restlessness, fatigue and improved mental health.

Although here in Canada we are free from the high costs of privatized healthcare, our neighbours to the south incur major costs through their system. The benefit that nature has on a person’s health can provide immense health care savings! Using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of green space density, researchers measured healthcare costs in relation to the “greenness” of an area. The results showed that the greener an area is, the less the residents would spend on healthcare!

The benefits that nature provides must not be neglected in our cities! Forêt Capitale Forest’s goal of increasing the forest canopy in Ottawa aims to provide communities with improved access to nature. Accessibility to green spaces is vital for both human health and the health of our planet!

A new study that investigates the relationship between residential green space and health care costs adds to the growing body of evidence that exposure to green space has health benefits. Perhaps framing the goals of urban afforestation and measuring tree canopy benefits with real dollar values can incentivize decision makers.

The study is referenced in the summary article linked below which is well worth the read! Residential Nature Tied to Hundreds of Dollars of Savings in Healthcare Costs

Thank you South Nation Conservation and Councillor Catherine Kitts, Merci!

Thank you to Councillor Catherine Kitts and South Nation Conservation for their Community Environmental Grant funding! Councillor Kitts also showed her support for Forêt Capitale Forest at our Hog’s Back Planting event back in the Fall. We can’t wait to continue working together in 2022 on some great new projects. Thank you South Nation Conservation and Councillor Kitts! 

Merci à la conseillère Catherine Kitts et à la Conservation de la Nation Sud pour le financement de leur subvention environnementale communautaire ! La conseillère Kitts a également montré son soutien pour la Forêt Capitale Forest avec sa participation à notre événement de plantation Hog’s Back à l’automne. Nous avons hâte de continuer à travailler ensemble en 2022 sur de nouveaux projets. Merci à la Conservation de la Nation Sud et à la conseillère Kitts !

Short and Sweet: Why Urban Forests?

Although trees may not look like money-making machines, the benefits and services that they provide to us make them an extremely valuable, and measurable resource! Ecosystems and trees provide us with three different kinds of service values: social, economic, and environmental benefits. When we consider all of these, it’s no wonder why we need to protect and enhance our urban forest cover and support projects like Forêt Capitale Forest’s goal to plant 1 million trees. 

To get into the specifics of it, we can either realise the value of forests in terms of use-values, like forestry products, or non-use values, like the psychological and social benefits that come from interacting with them. For example, our Food Forests at the Just Food Community farm has both! We get to harvest, share and enjoy all the wonderful organic foods that we produce at the farm, and, at the same time, we get to share, learn, and experience the forest as a social and educational tool. It’s not only people that benefit from urban forests, but many other creatures like birds and bugs get to enjoy these spaces too.

Already convinced that urban forests are super cool? There’s one more way urban forests help out, they’re called supporting and regulating services. These ones are a little harder to notice, but arguably the most important! Have you ever noticed the crisp, cool air when on a morning walk in the forest, or how crystal clear streams run through our neighbourhoods? Trees help out with these kinds of things by helping cycle air and water through the environment. At the same time, they help to keep the temperature down on hot days, support our shorelines and healthy soils, and provide critical habitat to the species we love. 

You can read more about how our urban forests help to support our lives at these links. Feel free to share any articles you find interesting with us too! 

Green Infrastructure Ontario: Benefits of the Urban Forest in a municipal context

Tree Canada: Benefits of Urban Forests

One Tree Planted: What Is Urban Forestry? 

FCF Recognized by SOUL Greener Greenspace Program!

Exciting news here at FCF! We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been recognized as part of The Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)’s Greener Greenspace program! SOUL is a Canadian organization that cares deeply about responsible land stewardship and started this program to share and inspire ecologically-focused land care across the country.

SOUL gave us a huge thumbs-up for our attention to organic soil regeneration practices and for the food forests at the Just Food farm in Blackburn Hamlet. Check out SOUL’s website for a map of Greener Greenspaces across Canada and explore more ecologically-focused projects like ours. 

Keep an eye out for FCF on SOUL’s social media and tune into ‘SOUL’s 2022 Year of the Ecological Garden’ Zoom series, where the work of Forêt Capitale Forest will be profiled. You can find them at SOUL Organic Land Care on Facebook and on Twitter @SOULandCare.

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