Saanich launches urban forest reserve fund

January 21, 2020

News release

For immediate release

 Saanich launches urban forest reserve fund

Saanich, BC – Saanich Council took another step toward enhancing the community’s urban forest with the approval of the new Urban Forest Reserve Fund Bylaw. The new reserve fund will support the goals of Saanich’s Urban Forest Strategy.

The Urban Forest Strategy offers a long-term plan to achieve a sustainable urban forest. The urban forest includes all trees and their ecosystems within Saanich. Saanich will use monies collected in the urban forest reserve fund to plant more trees in Saanich, support education and outreach activities, and purchase materials and expertise that support the municipality’s commitment to urban forest stewardship.

“Establishment of this new reserve fund is another great example of how we support tree protection and enhancement in our beautiful, natural environment,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “We value and appreciate our urban forest as a vital part of our community.”

The Urban Forest Reserve Fund Bylaw complements the recent amendments made to strengthen the Tree Protection Bylaw. In situations when the number of replacement trees required on a property cannot be planted due to site conditions or insufficient space, property owners may pay cash-in-lieu for Saanich to plant trees elsewhere in the municipality. These funds are credited to the urban forest reserve fund. Fines received from Tree Protection Bylaw infractions, any donations from the public, and any funds for replacement trees from municipal projects will also be invested to the fund.

Some examples of what the fund may support, include:

  • funding voluntary replacement trees on both public and private lands;
  • providing incentives for residents to plant trees on their property;
  • helping to pay for technology (such as soil cells) to make small spaces more appropriate for planting trees, or allowing larger trees to be planted; and
  • helping to purchase land with the intention to grow the urban forest.

The fund could also be used to develop and implement urban forest stewardship programs and initiatives.

“I am very excited for both the residents and the urban forest in Saanich,” said Manager of Community Development and Business Systems Nathalie Dechaine. “This reserve fund is an essential step to help us meet the ambitious goals and intent of the Urban Forest Strategy. This decision represents so much potential to support partnering with our community to grow and enhance the Urban Forest, which garners so many benefits.”

The new bylaw took effect following the final reading January 20, 2020.

The review and implementation of the Urban Forest Strategy is an initiative in Council’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Learn more:

More information about Saanich’s Urban Forest Strategy is available at


Media contact:
Nathalie Dechaine
Manager, Community Development and Business Systems