The Greenspace Alliance has submitted its input to the City of Ottawa regarding the 2018 Budget. It called on the City to adequately fund the recently approved Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), to replenish the capital reserve used to acquire greenspace for preservation purposes and to invest in developing the geographic data required to evaluate whether the targets stated in the Official Plan for total greenspace (4 hectares per 1000 population) and access to greenspace (within 400 meters of every home) are in fact being met.
A review of the budget documents released on November 8 reveals that the city services responsible for GIS will receive additional funding. It is unknown if some of that would be applied to greenspace mapping. The Long Range Planning services, which includes the Natural Systems and Environmental Protection group, will see a modest $50K increase in funding. We have been assured that the necessary resources are in place to support the activities called for in the first year of the UFMP. The acquisition reserve has been replenished and new borrowing authorized so that the City has $510M at its disposal to acquire and protect sensitive natural areas.
We will seek more detail from staff on the specifics but at this level of generality, this budget gets a passing grade in relation to the issues we identified in our submission.