The NeighbourWoods Program is a residential planting initiative developed to encourage citizens to help grow and preserve Kelowna’s healthy neighbourhoods' urban forest. Since 2010, residents have purchased more than 3,000 discounted trees to plant on their properties.
Thank you to everyone who purchased a 2018 NeighbourWoods tree and to the staff and volunteers who made this year's NeighbourWoods event a success. Check back in spring 2019 when we'll celebrate the 10th anniversary of this program.
For more information on the program, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
Trees improve air quality by removing atmospheric carbon dioxide, absorbing pollutants and producing oxygen. The average Canadian urban tree is estimated to remove approximately 200 kg of carbon from the environment over an 80 year lifespan.
According to an Urban Forest Effects Analysis completed in 2007, Kelowna’s current tree canopy is at about 13 per cent, while the recommended tree cover for our area is 20 per cent. Other threats to the urban forest such as pine beetle, wildfire or development could further reduce our already comparably low tree cover. NeighbourWoods has been designed to help overcome some of these obstacles while providing many benefits including:
Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the primary gas causing global climate change. Trees retain the carbon from the CO2 molecule and release oxygen into the atmosphere. The carbon makes up half the dry weight of a tree. Planting new trees remains one of the cheapest, most effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. One acre of forestland will sequester between 150 - 200 tons of CO2 in its first 40 years.
Properly placed trees near buildings can significantly lower summer temperatures and act as a winter windbreak, reducing the need for cooling or heating. Studies show that summer daytime temperatures can be up to 3 degrees Celsius cooler in neighbourhoods with mature tree canopies when compared to newly developed areas. By reducing energy usage, additional carbon emissions from power plants are also avoided.
Trees intercept significant amounts of precipitation, reducing the costs associated with storm water management as well as reducing runoff which carries salts, fertilizers, and other pollutants into creeks and lakes.
Air pollution can be serious threat to human health, and trees produce many net benefits for overall air quality improvement.
Social Benefits: Studies have found that a view of trees was associated with benefits such as a faster recovery time after surgery, improved mental health and well being.
Numerous studies have documented a significant increase in property values and rental income associated with attractive tree cover and landscaping.