City of Parksville mapping trees and other assets with geographic information system technology

Map showing locations of inventoried trees in the City of Parksville. || Submitted image.
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The city’s operations department is using a geographic information system (GIS) tree management application to plan its work and monitor and assess Parksville’s urban forest.

Warren Payne, parks supervisor, provided council with a presentation on the program, known as TreePlotter, during its Sept. 20 regular meeting.

Trees can be marked on a map in the field or from the office. Information collected for each tree includes common and Latin name, location, condition, size, required maintenance tasks and an inspection cycle, according to a media release from the city. 

The program can also calculate ecosystem benefits provided by the trees, such as estimates of air quality, carbon and stormwater benefits.

The city’s operations department has inventoried almost 3,700 tree locations, mostly in parks and on boulevards, but there are many areas yet to be inventoried, according to the release. Large tracts of urban forest areas such as Top Bridge Park and the Parksville Wetlands are also not yet included.

Following an upgrade to the software in 2020, the program can be used to inventory other park assets, such as benches, garbage cans, facility attributes and the memorial bench and tree program.

Mapping trees will be important for the urban forest strategy recently started with consultant Diamond Head, according to the city.

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