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On Our Radar: This Coquitlam forum is highlighting urban trees — and their benefits

Trees are critical to everyone's well-being, nature experts say.
The 2023 Tri-Cities Urban Forest Forum is scheduled for March 7, 7 to 9 p.m. at Douglas College's Coquitlam campus.

What do you feel when you look up at a tree standing stoically in your community?

Is it when you're walking along a trail or through a local park? Is it outside your living room window?

The Tri-Cities region boasts a multitude of urban forests, but organizers of an upcoming forum say those trees are facing "complex challenges" due to new housing, climate change and population growth.

Nancy Furness of the Tri-Cities Urban Forest Forum is hoping elected officials and the general public can join a free two-hour networking event on Tuesday (March 7).

"The spirit of the event is for stakeholders to work in a collaborative and supportive environment to achieve a positive outcome," she said in a statement to the Tri-City News.

"A healthy urban forest provides valuable ecological services, mitigates effects of climate change, and is integral to our physical and mental health," a forum news release added.

"Public awareness and engagement are key to the development and implementation of a successful Urban Forest Management Plan."

As of this publication (March 3), management plans are in the works in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody to ensure residents can still enjoy the trees in their own community amid new developments.

The forum hopes to provide a voice to those wanting to make their case of preserving urban trees with community leaders to "explore a shared vision" and "ensure a healthy future."

In addition to networking and display booths, a presentation will be hosted by four experts on environment and sustainability.

This includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Richard Boase − Environmental sustainability (operations), District of North Vancouver
  • Lorien Nesbitt − Assistant professor, UBC urban forestry and environmental justice
  • Amelia Needoba − Principal and senior forester, Diamond Head Consulting
  • Erika Mashig − Manager of arboriculture, horticulture, parks and open space planning, City of New Westminster

The Tri-Cities Urban Forest Forum, co-hosted by Wondrous Tree Fellowship, Burke Mountain Naturalists and the Protect Coquitlam's Urban Forests group, is set to take place March 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Douglas College's Coquitlam campus.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the networking portion of the event and interested participants will head inside Lecture Theatre Room A1470 for the presentation.

For more information, you can send an email to

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