Protect our ecosystems and natural spaces
For a city its size, Victoria is blessed with beautiful natural spaces and precious ecosystems - from the rich kelp beds off the Breakwater to the camas and garry oak meadows of Summit Park to the unique tidal inlet of the Gorge Waterway. Today, we benefit from the incredible efforts to preserve and restore these natural spaces by the generations before us. Now we must protect and grow this legacy.
For the first time in decades, it is safe again for children to swim in the Gorge waterway. In partnership with other local governments, the harbour authority, boaters and homeowners, we need to continue to protect and improve the quality of water entering the Gorge. One exciting way that the city and homeowners can make a difference is through rain gardens like in Fisherman’s Wharf Park, which filters run-off before it enters the waterway, reduces flooding risk for the neighbourhood and also provides valuable habitat to birds.
We need to increase the use of native plants adapted to Victoria’s climate in our parks, public spaces and the landscaping of new developments. Native plants require less water and are more drought resistant - they also can provide opportunities for restoring the food sources that Indigenous peoples need access to in order to practice their traditional culture.
GROWING THE URBAN FOREST
Let’s follow the lead of cities across the Pacific Northwest by setting an ambitious target for Victoria’s urban forest to increase tree canopy to 25% by 2025. As we increase our tree canopy, we must also preserve the iconic cherry blossom heritage gifted to our city by Japanese-Canadian immigrants long ago, and work with LifeCycles Project Society and homeowners to plant (and harvest!) more fruit and nut trees.