Published on May 18, 2022

City Recognized as Tree City of the World

The City of St. Albert has been recognized with the coveted Tree City of the World Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. This is the City’s 3rd year in a row receiving this significant honour.

Last year, Mayor Cathy Heron expressed her pleasure with the City’s direction regarding the award. “Following the intensive application process, the award is a testament to our processes and our hardworking staff. We are so proud to receive this award,” said Mayor Heron.

Award Criteria

To be considered for the Tree City of the World Award, there are five criteria that any community must fulfill:

  1. A community needs its city leaders to provide a written statement that ‘delegates responsibility for whom, which department or group of citizens. The community calls those with the delegated responsibility a Tree Board.
  2. A community must also have a law implemented to govern how forests and trees will be managed. This law would be considered the standard of care for the forests and trees, and any penalties for those who do not comply with the laws.
  3. A community needs to have a current inventory list of all trees to develop and implement long-term planting care and removal plans for all local trees.
  4. A community must have annual budget funds allocated to implement the plan for tree management.
  5. Finally, a community needs to have a yearly tree celebration to increase resident awareness and honour city staff and residents who adhere to the community’s tree plan.

Long-term Strategy and Benefits

The Tree Cities of the World mentioned that this recognition is a fantastic way for any community to create and implement an effective long-term tree management and maintenance strategy. This long-term plan can reduce costs for energy, increase property value across the City, foster stronger ties amongst the City and residents, honour our community, and reap benefits from the five standards of recognition. The community can also benefit from learning more about the value and importance of trees and their sustainable management and, finally, boosting city-wide pride.

What This Award Means

Senior Manager of the City's Public Operations Department, Louise Stewart, also shared her thoughts on what it means for the City to win this award for the 3rd year in a row.

"It means our program is going in the right direction, building on the vision and the dedication of past councils and administrations. It is their decisions 40-50 years ago that have led to us receiving this incredible honour. The award also recognizes the knowledgeable team that currently manages the program," says Stewart. 

Priorities, Procedures and Process

The City puts great effort into the procedures and processes required to maintain our trees.

"The City has a 5-year pruning cycle as well as a public Urban Forest Management Plan. Eventually, the City's tree inventory will be open data. We are increasing the diversity of trees within the City in order to limit the impacts of pests and potential diseases," adds Stewart. 

When asked why the City of St. Albert has received this award for  three consecutive years, Stewart had this to say: "It is due to the support of the community and Council regarding the importance of prioritizing our trees and having staff that are not only dedicated but also highly educated and skilled."

Growing and Maintaining

She also noted that "Grey Nuns White Spruce Park is a special location to St. Albert with mature spruce and a trail system currently being constructed. We also do native stand management for public safety where some trees are removed or left as wildlife trees, new trees come up in the gaps which are healthier and more adapted to the site conditions." 

The City of St. Albert manages vegetation hazards on City-owned land. The primary focus is to reduce risk to people and property. Reducing these risks includes keeping areas that the public may frequent safe and maintaining any trees that may cause potential damage to the property. Risk reduction also includes retaining certain ground-level trees for wildlife and ensuring that trees and natural growth will fill open areas over time. Arborists working throughout the City try to leave as many trees as possible in place.

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Last edited: June 27, 2022