Focus on Preserving Our Forests with New Pilot Project

Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the Environment Committee, launched a new tree watering bag pilot project at City Hall this morning to kick off Canadian Environment Week, June 5-11, 2011. The pilot project, which is being implemented by the Public Works Department, will use watering bags attached to the base of trees in place of surface watering.

The bags promote the slow release of water to the root system of a tree, resulting in better absorption into the soil, less run-off and evaporation, and generally a more efficient watering program as the bags can be filled more quickly than the current hose method.

“This year’s theme for Canadian Environment Week is Preserving Our Forests, Protecting Our Future, and the United Nations has declared 2011 to be the year of forests,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Both declarations provide the City of Ottawa with an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of the sustainable management of our urban and rural forests.”

“Protecting and expanding forest cover is one of the City of Ottawa’s key strategies in making our community healthy and green for future generations,” said Councillor McRae. “Announcing the tree watering bag pilot project is one of the many ways we are promoting environmental initiatives this week.”

Watering bags will be fastened to approximately 1,500 trees at the time of planting for the critical three-year establishment period.

The tree watering bag pilot project launch is one of several announcements coming from the City of Ottawa during Environment Week. Other announcements will involve cycling and walking to work; transit use; Clean Air Day; Choosing Our Future, a partnership with the City of Gatineau and the National Capital Commission; and the Community Environmental Projects Grants Program.

For more information on any of these programs, please visit