Urban Forest Management Plan
An urban forest is made up of every tree in our city, including in our yards, streets, ravines and parks! This plan will help care for and protect every tree in Vaughan.
The City of Vaughan is developing its first Urban Forest Management Plan. The plan will include:
- information on the current state of Vaughan’s urban forest.
- a long-term vision to manage the urban forest.
- goals, recommendations and targets to achieve the vision.
- a financial analysis to guide implementation.
As part of this plan, the City is also developing a Woodland Management Strategy to guide the management of all City-owned woodlands. The term woodland describes groupings of trees growing under natural forest conditions.
Vaughan’s urban forest includes all the trees, vegetation, soils and ecosystem components within the City’s municipal boundary. It includes all trees growing in Vaughan, including City-owned street trees, park trees, natural woodlands and trees on private land in urban and rural areas. Basically, if a tree has roots anywhere in our city, you can bet it will be cared for through the Urban Forest Management Plan.
Trees are an important resource. They are integral to the city's character and enhance the quality of life for our community. They provide oxygen; improve mental and physical health; provide shelter for insects, birds and other animals; and provide shade and food for humans and animals, like fruits and nuts. They also cool the air, save water, reduce noise pollution, capture stormwater runoff and beautify the community.
Read the Phase 1 and Phase 2 engagement summaries
Two rounds of public engagement were planned to help inform the development of the Urban Forest Management Plan.
Phase 1 occurred from March to April 2023, and was designed to help inform the vision, principles and goals of this plan. We heard from nearly 500 survey respondents whose feedback will help inform the development of the final plan. Read the Phase 1 engagement summary (PDF).
Phase 2 occurred from May to June 2023, and was designed to gather feedback on the goals and strategies you hope to see prioritized in the final plan. Read the Phase 2 engagement summary (PDF).
Read the draft Urban Forest Management Plan
The framework of the Urban Forest Management Plan and Woodland Management Strategy (PDF) is available for review and the comment period is now closed. The document includes an update on what’s been done to date, what we’ve discovered (canopy and inventory findings, observations and key challenges), what we heard from you in the first phase of the project, and our next steps.
Read the State of the Urban Forest report
The City’s first-ever State of the Urban Forest report (PDF) is available for review. This document contains information, analysis and benchmarking that will be used to inform the actions in the final Urban Forest Management Plan.
Winners of the Urban Forest Management Plan art contest
After reviewing the entries for the Urban Forest Management Plan art contest, three winners have been selected! Check them out below.
“Through the Canopy” by Stephen M.
"As an artist that called Vaughan home for many years the conservation lands from Boyd to Bindertwine were where I would frequent for plein air painting and inspiration, walking the meandering trails along the Humber and through the woods brought a sense of enchantment that's seldom found in other cities. One place in particular was the inspiration for my piece, a spot along the William Granger Greenway, just north of Major Mackenzie. There are a collection of trees in the middle of the clearing that grow over the trail to create a beautiful natural archway, looking up through them one beautiful summer day I saw the sun radiating through the canopy and I knew I had to capture this magic in a painting for all to enjoy!"
“Mystical Spruce” by Patrick B.
"I find inspiration from the natural spaces, urban parks, trails and trees of the Don River watershed. As I was walking through the forest, I noticed this mystical old white spruce tree. I try to communicate the beauty of trees through my art."
“Walkway thru the Forest by my House” by Ronak G.
"This artwork draws inspiration from the enchanting forest in close proximity to my residence, as well as the diverse array of trees and foliage that grace our urban landscape. Its essence lies in the profound interplay between humanity, nature, and technology—an intricate web of interconnected layers within our cityscape. With the intention of capturing these intricate relationships, I embarked on creating a multi-layered drawing that seeks to visually portray the harmonious coexistence of these elements."
“Hills of Clover” by Atara H.
"Hills of Clover was created after discovering small trails amongst quiet neighbourhoods last summer. Many included small ponds, lots of beautiful scenery, wildlife and a peaceful stillness. I was inspired to draw these feelings partly from memory and partly from photographs."
“Cavalcade of colours” by Amardeep T.
"Trees always inspire and fascinate me as they are the most wonderful creation of nature and each tree is a piece of art.
The City of Vaughan has a rich wealth of beautiful trails and parks which I love to visit again and again. Kortright Center is my favourite place to visit every year in summer and fall as it turns out into a wonderland of colors to enjoy and have fun."
From March 21 to April 28, we asked you to submit your tree artwork for a chance to win one of three prizes. The first-place winner will have their artwork featured on the front page of the City’s first-ever Urban Forest Management Plan and will receive a tree dedication as part of the City’s Tree and Bench Dedication program. Second- and third-place winners will have their artwork featured within the plan and receive an eco-friendly prize pack. In addition to the three winners, the two honourable mentions will be featured within the final Urban Forest Management Plan.
While an art contest is all in good fun, creating a plan to manage the future of our urban forest is serious business. This art contest aimed to open the conversation around trees in Vaughan and why it’s important to create a long-term vision to manage them. We encourage you to get involved in the Phase 2 engagement opportunities.
In Phase 1, residents were invited to provide input on tree care and management to help the City understand shared values, goals and objectives that will inform the vision and recommendations for Vaughan’s first-ever Urban Forest Management Plan.
The following engagement opportunities were available in Phase 1:
- Virtual open house – COMPLETED (April 3, 2023)
- Online survey #1 – COMPLETED (March 21 to April 28, 2023)
- Map Vaughan’s trees – COMPLETED (March 21 to April 28, 2023)
The following engagement opportunities were available in Phase 2:
- In-person open house – COMPLETED (June 8, 2023)
- Online survey #2 – COMPLETED (June 5 to June 30, 2023)
Frequently Asked Questions
The City manages the health, removal and replacement of approximately 130,000 public trees and regulates countless more on private property. The City is developing its first Urban Forest Management Plan to identify the current state of Vaughan’s trees and create a long-term vision to manage them.
The Urban Forest Management Plan will also include tailored strategies and actions to address specific pressures on Vaughan’s urban forest, including those related to urban development, climate change and extreme weather, invasive pests and asset management.
As part of this plan, the City is also developing a Woodland Management Strategy to guide the management of all City-owned woodlands.
The term woodland describes groupings of trees growing under natural forest conditions.
Trees in woodlands represent a part of the urban forest, along with other trees such as street trees, open-grown park trees and open-grown trees on private property. As large, natural features, even a single woodland can span across several properties.