A new vegetation map shows every tree on public property in Kamloops at the click of a button

Map of 15,840 local trees

The city of Kamloops recently launched CityMap, an online map to show public property, with one of the main features being a vegetation map.  

“It’s an inventory of all the city trees. All city trees that are in boulevards and parks and on city property,” GIS Manager, Adam Chadwick tells Castanet. 

The map lists every tree, all 15,840, on public property in Kamloops, allowing easy access of information to residents. 

“It’s sort of an ongoing activity, no one went out and just counted the trees. We’ve had sort of a record of all the trees for quite a few years,” Chadwick laughs.  

Communication between the city and the public becomes easier with the map, especially for new home buyers.

“It really makes it obvious or easy for people to know when they are interested in a tree whether it is on city property or it’s on private property,” he explains. “It really simplifies for contract arborists and for home owners where property lines are.”

In addition to helping homeowners identify property lines, it helps identify trees as well.

“It can simplify and provide better customer service for the public,” Chadwick explains. “I got a call from a lady saying there is a tree in front of my house, what is it? And I said ‘well there's a map you can use you just select it and find out’.”

The map also shows where certain trees can be planted, in order for them to survive. 

“If you want to know what your plant hardiness zone is for your area, that determines what plants you can plant in your area. It's warmer down below, colder up top so not all plants can grow,” Chadwick says.

They are working on adding components to the map to help city planners know where more trees are needed. 

“We’re going to be adding tree canopy as well. And this also helps us identify where there isn’t a lot of tree canopy. Where there is not a lot of coverage and where we have heat islands, when you have a lot of concrete and pavement that creates heat,” Chadwick explains to Castanet. “In the neighbourhoods that have fewer trees, the health conditions are poorer because you're living in that much more heat.”

There will be additions added to the vegetation map, so Kamloops residents can know where tree coverage is needed. 

“We have all sorts of plans once we get this up and going. We will then start looking at where we don’t have enough tree canopy and what we can do to try to mitigate that,” the GIS manager says. 

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