Program Schedule Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities Conference 26. October 2019 Courtenay

Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities Conference Program Schedule

The Conference is  October 26th, from 9 am to 6 pm, at the Filberg Center 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay. The goal of this conference is to have an open forum for discussions and recommendations based on current knowledge of urban design and ecology. We are asking that all interested parties pre-register at The cost is $30 per person, cash or cheque (payable to Comox Valley Nature) at the door on October 26th. A light lunch is included.

The program schedule is as follows.

8:00       Doors open for sign in and payment, cash or cheque only, (no cards)

9:00       Welcome from CVN and thank you to attendees (Jim Boulter)

9:05       Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells; Welcome from City of Courtenay and CVRD

9:15       Nancy GothardCourtenay Urban Forest Plan

Nancy Gothard has been with the City of Courtenay since 2010, hired as the organization’s first Environmental Planner in which she worked on development applications and monitoring. Her current title of Policy Planner is within the newly formed Community and Sustainability Planning Division at the City and includes longer range policy work including the review of the City’s Official Community Plan.

10:10    Loys Maingon “A New Understanding of Forest Ecology

Loys Maingon (MA, PhD, MSc) is registered professional Biologist, webinar host for the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and Secretary for the Association of Professional Biologists of BC. He currently serves as Research Director for the Strathcona Wilderness Institute.

11:05    Will Marsh “Adaptive Design

William M. Marsh is University of Michigan professor emeritus of physical geography and Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, UBC. He is author of several books on environment and land planning, including Landscape Planning: Environmental Applications (2010. John Wiley, NY).

12:00 to 12:45 Light lunch of Soup and sandwiches included in registration fee

12:45 Thomas Dishlevoy: “The Comox Valley Living City Challenge”.

Tom is a registered architect and urbanist with over 20 years of practice in the Comox Valley. He is a LEED certified professional and the Ambassador for the Living Building Challenge on Vancouver Island.

1:40 Alison Mewett: “Urban Trees

Alison M. Mewett is a BC Landscape Architect who lives in the Comox Valley. She has practiced landscape planning and design in the private and public sectors for 35 years, including a stint with the CVRD as manager of parks and environment.

2: 35 Royann Petrell:Urban Avian Ecology

Royann Petrell (PhD, MSc) is a professor emerita from UBC, and has developed research tools to
monitor wild aquatic species, establish a better understanding of sustainable aquaculture as well as remove heavy metals from storm water using waste materials. She considers herself to be an ecological engineer, and always begins an engineering design with needs of the organism within its environment.

3: 30 Round table and discussions with Q&A

4:30 to 6:00 Informal social and discussion time

6:00 Conference closes.

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Invitation to the “Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities” Conference, October 26th, 2019

Comox Valley Nature
(Comox Valley Naturalists Society)
PO Box 3222, Courtenay BC, V9N 5N4,

Invitation to the “Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities” Conference, October 26th, 2019


Comox Valley Nature is hosting a one day conference on the importance of urban forests to our cities, and the best science to support a sustainable forest within them. We hope that, by bringing together a wide range of knowledge and experience in urban design and ecology, the presentations and discussions planned will help to inform Courtenay Staff when they amend the municipality’s Official Community Plan in 2020.

The goal of this conference is to have an open forum for discussions and recommendations based on current knowledge, not on past standards. We enter a new world daily and need to look to 2100, and beyond, in the months and years ahead. CVN believes the expansion of urban forests is a step in the right direction. Although the focus is Courtenay, the topics and information provided will be of wide interest to all with concerns about the space they live, and can be widely applied.

Careful urban design will be more important in the future, and we must learn from past errors and provide our cities, and our citizens, with a healthy living environment. To do this we need to understand that the trees we plant today will live for decades or longer and bring nature to our cities and our citizens. They do more than grace our doorsteps and downtowns.

Trees absorb carbon and emit oxygen, but that is just the tip of service to us. City trees can remove certain types of environmental pollutants and toxins, helping keep our lungs clean and healthy. Trees keep the space around them cooler, not just by shading the sun but through the evaporation of water from their leaves. A mature tree can cool as much as 10 air-condition units running 20 hours a day.  Their roots channel rain and run-off below ground, helping to reduce flooding due to storms: their crowns provide shade for us and a roost for the birds. And much more we are just learning about.

We hope that you will take away a greater appreciation and concern for urban trees, their benefits to us and our futures. Trees grow where their seed falls unless we provide them with suitable conditions and locations beneficial to both us and the trees, and that too is part of the broader topic likely to be spoken too.

The day’s program has yet to be finalized, but we are pleased to announce the following six speakers have agreed to make presentations to us, and may participate in a round table Q&A that closes the conference:

Tom Dishlevoy                            Architect, Comox                                                              “Urban Design”

Nancy Gothard                            Planner, Courtenay                                                “Courtenay Urban Forest Plan”

Loys Maingon                         Ecologist, Comox Valley                                                “A New Understanding of Forest Ecology”

Will Marsh                            Geomorphologist, Comox                                                   “Adaptive Design”

Alison Mewett                     Landscape Architect, Comox                                                    “Urban Trees”

Royann Petrell                     Ecological Engineer, Comox Valley                                   “Urban Avian Ecology”

The conference will run from 09:00 to 18:00 October 26th in Courtenay, at the Evergreen Lounge in the Filberg Centre in Courtenay. Registration cost is yet to be determined, but will not exceed $30. RSVP is appreciated. If you would like to be kept appraised of developments, my email address is below. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Boulter, President Comox Valley Nature

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Shoreline Outing: Trent River Estuary, Sept 26th 2019

The next shoreline outing will be our first estuarine outing.
When: 9:30-11:30 am, Thursday, September 26th. (3.5 foot low tide is 10:15)
Where: Meet at the the end of Carey Place in Royston
What: Surveying the algae, plants and invertebrates around the Trent River Estuary.
Carpool: if looking to carpool, we’ll leave at 9:15 from the old thrifty’s parking lot in downtown Courtenay
Prereading: If interested, shoreline member Betty Brooks and co. put together a marvelous report on life in the Trent river delta and estuary for the Canadian Wildlife Service. This is comprehensive in terms of Birds, Invertebrates, Algae and Plants. I’ll try and repurpose portions into a checklist before we go. Perhaps there has been changes in the intervening 32 years.
Safety Precautions: Boots are advised. Access is via a relatively level trail. Shoreline is level with small pebbles and sand.
See you soon,
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Botany Outing Report: Seal Bay Sept 9th 2019

At our last gathering at Seal Bay on September 9th we were not disappointed in the array of botanical forms : flowers in still bloom, including the musk-flower- Erythranthre moschata ( yellow monkey flower with slimy leaves) and the abhorred purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria!; many plants with their seedheads;  a variety of fungi including the dying Russula nigricans parasitized by Asterophoros  lycoperdoides,  then colonized by a blue mold.  The highlight was Randal’s pointing out baby ferns – the tiny heart-shaped new sporophytes on the shaded underside of logs beside the trail (which of course challenged the focus settings of my camera).

Our next gathering will be on Monday October 7th, at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Park to see all the vaccinia and other shrubs in their splendid fall colours.  We will also in the course of touring the meadows collect the SWI Plant signs in advance of the winter snows.  Confirmation of the time for carpooling from the foot of the mountain will be circulated later.


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