Recently the DSBN removed a number of mature trees as part of a parking lot expansion at Lincoln Centennial School on Scott St. The loss of canopy was significant in an area with few trees. While the need for more parking, access and egress may be valid, the process and end result were devastating and disappointing from an institution responsible for providing education and promoting high values to our young citizens.
The Province of Ontario, the City of St. Catharines and many other municipalities, provinces, states, countries and organizations have declared a climate emergency. Climate change is real. Wildfires are out of control in northern Ontario and along the entire west coast. Unstable weather all over the globe is affecting our lives today and threatens future generations. Climate change adaptation and mitigation from the highest levels of government to ordinary citizens is not an option. It is a necessity. We must preserve and enhance our greenspaces, including protecting our tree canopy.
In the Lincoln Centennial case, the DSBN chose the easy way out. Just remove the trees. Was it possible to save all or some of the trees with an adaptive parking lot plan? Absolutely! An opportunity for innovative and progressive leadership was sorely missed by the vey institution that promotes these values.
We urge the DSBN to make the policy changes necessary to ensure better solutions and avoid similar events.
It is imperative that we all work together to defeat climate change. In this case the DSBN missed the opportunity to help lead the charge. Perhaps together we can set a new and more appropriate course?
St. Catharines Environmental Alliance