By Lloyd Ferguson, Ancaster Councillor
Some things from local government are free and have long-lasting health and economic benefits. I’m speaking of the City of Hamilton’s Street Tree Planting Program, an initiative that began in 2004 but has steadily grown over the past decade.
And by 2030, we hope the city’s “tree canopy” will be 35 per cent.
When the program began nine years ago, we planted 200 trees. Since then, however, we have planted more than 30,000 trees and will ramp up that number by another 6,000 trees in 2013.
The program plants free trees in the city-owned road allowance in front of residential properties, parks and other municipal-owned properties. If you are interested in receiving a tree, contact the city by calling 905-546-CITY (2489) or visit the website www.treeshamilton.ca or www.hamilton.ca.
On a standard lot, one tree may be planted on the road-allowance portion of the property and corner lots may accommodate up to three trees.
When requesting a tree, you have the option to write down your top three species from the 50 varieties available, and once they are planted, forestry staff maintain them for life. This is a very exciting project and our ramping up of the program over the next 17 years will improve air quality, enhance storm-water control and reduce greenhouse gas, as well as aesthetics and enhanced property values.
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I hope that everyone enjoyed the festivities of the 163rd Annual Ancaster Fair last weekend, where the “city met the country” for four days of agricultural events.
I had the opportunity on Saturday to celebrate the opening of the new stables at the Trinity Road site for the Hamilton Police Service Mounted Unit.
Despite the unfavourable weather, it was well attended. With five horses and six officers, the Mounted Patrol Unit has become pivotal in crowd control, search and rescue, patrol and crime prevention. By locating at the Ancaster Fairgrounds, with excellent stables and an indoor training ring, the Mounted Unit has quick access via Highway 403 to all areas of the city.
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Last week, city council also had the opportunity to hear from the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton around the 2013 annual campaign and its $7-million goal.
With every campaign, the United Way sets out to support our two communities by providing shelter, food security, counselling, early childhood learning and development, and so much more for the residents who depend on these essential services.
I encourage everyone to participate in this important charitable organization and help change the lives of those in need in our community.
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As always, if you need to reach me for any reason, please contact my office at City Hall at 905-546-2704.
You can also contact me by e-mail at Lloyd.Ferguson@hamilton.ca.