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Press Release
City of Chilliwack Plants a Climate Resilient Forest in Mt. Thom Park April 20, 2021

Chilliwack, BC: The City of Chilliwack has planted the first 2,000 new trees towards a goal of 80,000 new trees in Mt. Thom Park to help the forest become resilient to climate change and to supplement the existing trees for the forest’s next generation. The new trees were planted thanks to Shakti Reforestation Ltd. and include thirteen different tree varieties to maintain the existing habitat and prepare the forest cover for the future.

The existing birch-dominant forest had been impacted by Bronze Birch Borer beetles, which meant that before these new seedlings were planted, there were not enough younger trees in the area that could take over the tree canopy after the existing forest’s decline. Further, there are several Species at Risk that rely on the continuity of this forest cover, including Coastal Giant Salamanders, Phantom Orchids, and Tall Bugbane.

“Mt. Thom Park is one of Chilliwack’s most popular natural areas, offering great trails for people, and important spaces for wildlife,” said Mayor Popove. “Growing a climate resilient forest now will help ensure that Mt. Thom remains a thriving ecosystem in the future.”

City staff reviewed geologic maps and soil classification data, along with aspect, elevation, and exposure to determine seven unique planting zones in this area. Each zone has a prescribed mix of tree species for higher survival rates into the future. For example, some species of trees to be planted are able to withstand warmer temperatures and longer dry periods, such as the Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine.

Two additional phases of planting are tentatively planned for Mt. Thom Park, pending grant funding. To learn more about this project and how the City works to be good stewards of the environment, visit chilliwack.com/urbanforests.

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