Reducing Red Tape – Tree Planting

Photo Credit: Winnipeg Free Press


I am very disappointed that Public Service could not come up with a way to reduce the complexity involved in allowing residents to plant trees on public property. See details in their May 6, 2022 Requirements for Community Groups and Volunteers to Plant Trees on Public Lands report that essentially lays out the process of what they do – with no recommendations on how to improve the process to enable less red tape.

In summary, I will focus on working with residents to increase the number of trees planted on private property. Of all the trees in Winnipeg, 10% are on public property and 90% are on private property.

The City of Winnipeg, Trees Canada, Ours Winnipeg, and multiple organizations have greatly increased public awareness on the many benefits of planting trees. Many volunteer groups want to organize a tree planting event to plant trees on City of Winnipeg public property, BUT it can be a very complex process – just to plant a tree!

Upwards of six or more different departments are required to be involved in the discussions and approval process. There is no one point person to help volunteers navigate through the many steps and departments to plant trees on City of Winnipeg property.

This complex approval process can become cumbersome and complex and in turn, discourage volunteers. If we are ever going to plant a million trees in Winnipeg, we must simplify the process! I moved a motion to direct the Winnipeg Public Service to establish a simplified approval process for volunteers who wish to plant trees on City of Winnipeg property.  I expect a report on how to improve and simplify the current process will be presented by late June 2022.

Thank you Winnipeg Free Press for covering this important issue: