Park Space & Urban Forestry
Grande Prairie is home to over 150 parks that provide residents a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities and beautiful scenery throughout the community.
Our tree population is also one of the many assets that make Grande Prairie a wonderful place to live. We give them the best opportunity to thrive by choosing the right tree for each location and providing basic care. Parks staff maintain over 20,000 trees and 260 shrub beds on public lands across the city.
Benefits of an Urban Forest
An urban forest can be defined as all of the vegetation growing in a city, whether it resides on public or private lands. It is often difficult to assess the true value of an urban forest. Monetary value can be calculated based on models of an average neighbourhood; however, these measurements only express a part of an urban forest's true value. There are many intangible benefits of a healthy urban forest.
Vegetation improves urban air quality by removing and storing tons of carbon dioxide annually. This process is called carbon sequestering.
Vegetation captures atmospheric particulates; evergreen trees are the most effective due to their dense structure and year round growth cycle.
Vegetation moderates the urban heat island effect and increases the relative humidity of urban air.
Our urban forest provides food and habitat for all types of local animal life, along with providing fruits and berries that people also enjoy.
Green environments reduce stress and provide opportunities for leisure and recreation which improve citizens' overall health and wellness, thereby resulting in reduced health care costs.
Urban forests can also bring communities of people together and form connections between humans and the urban flora and fauna. They also bring about educational opportunities (i.e. Muskoseepi Park and School Programs).
Vegetation and the soil it grows in hold large quantities of water, reducing the amount of water a municipal storm system needs to accommodate. After an inch of rainfall, if 20% of Grande Prairie were covered by hard surfaces such as roads, sidewalks parking lots and driveways that would leave the City's green spaces to absorb 80% of the water or 256,000,000 litres.
Vegetation reduces energy consumption by shading buildings in summer and slowing heat-stealing wind in winter.
Attractive trees and shrubs increase the value and marketability of homes and other real estate and attracts new businesses to communities.
Act as a visual and dust barrier between housing and highways. Shrubs act as "natural fencing." For example, hedges provide directional guidance, visual contouring and aesthetics.
Studies show that people plant trees in their yard for shade and appearance more so than for energy savings, environmental benefits or privacy.
When residents of mature neighbourhoods are asked to list the most important feature of their neighbourhood, they usually cite mature neighbourhood trees instead of the wide roads or nice sidewalks.
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