Archive for the ‘Smart Growth’ Category

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The Daily Gleaner, Published Tuesday March 10th, 2009
Re: UNB Woodlot development
I live in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but I grew up in New Brunswick and went to the University of New Brunswick for a couple of years.
I have family living in Fredericton who have told me there is pressure to develop the woodlot above the UNB campus.
My husband and I have long fought for the retention of natural environments in cities as the most important factor in flood control. Both cities are prone to flooding at lower levels. In St. John’s, there is a large watershed out of which several rivers flow towards St. John’s harbour and Quidi Vidi Gut, a small harbour in the east end of the city.
Tributary streams have been put underground and channelized, culverts improperly installed, storm sewers often are not cleared, and because of climate change, heavy precipitation is happening more frequently.
The city council has ignored the warnings of experts such as my husband and other scientists, including many at Memorial University, who point out the errors in city plans. Development and tax revenues take precedence over property values, wildlife, and of course, human health and even our lives are put in danger by flooding.
Our home (built in 1840) was not on the flood plain when we purchased it; but the following year the flood plain was redrawn and our insurance does not cover any flood damage. This has happened to many people.
As a result of our experiences with our council, I did a lot of research and was able to confirm that trees and urban forests are primary factors in absorbing rain and snow, releasing it more slowly so that flash flooding is less likely to occur.
St. John’s still will not pay attention. I know that Fredericton residents and businesses, supported by intelligent scientific advice from knowledgeable sources, have protested plans to develop the woodlot.
Councillors and planners are culpable if they make decisions which fail to recognize the danger of removing any part, no matter how small, in Fredericton, which has even worse floods than we do here in St. John’s.
Judy Gibson
St. John’s, NL

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From one participant: It was great fun and they gave us 5 seedlings. We were like the 500-pound gorilla in the living room that no one wanted to notice. There was a sea of city employees and a large number of police. But no one approached us. We had the following 2X2 signs: SMART GROWTH NOT SPRAWL + PLANT TREES ….DON’T DESTROY THE WOODLOT. FIRST TO KYOTO ? * Kingston * Calgary * Ottawa * Richmond * Sannich * Vancouver. ALL ADOPTED LEED GREEN BUILDING and my personal favourite….CITY COUNCIL NEEDS A CLIMATE CHANGE. About 200 people saw the signs and several people asked polite questions. We certainly did not feel awkward so I am glad we showed up.

City Council needs a climate change

City Green Matters

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Flying Squirrel on the UNB Woodlot

Flying Squirrel launches Smart Growth Campaign at the 2007 UNB Spring Convocation. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.

Talking to family members of the Class of ‘07

Talking to family members of UNB Grads. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.

Convocation Action

Flying Squirrel passing out flyers for the UNB Woodlot. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.

Convocation Action 2

Photo: Charles LeBlanc.

Flying Squirrel on the evening news

Flying Squirrel on the evening news. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.

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Smart Growth Campaign

For immediate publication

May 17, 2007

FREDERICTON, NB — “I promise to donate $$ to UNB if they follow their own stated guidelines in the development of the UNB Woodlot.”

On their own website – http://www.unb.ca/lms/woodlot/wprinciples.html – UNB’s “Guiding Principles” for the Woodlot Development, include “sustainable mixed-use development”, “demonstrate UNB’s commitment to excellence in development and management”, and “increase UNB’s profile as an environmental steward and community leader”

smartgrowthUNB.ca is a website launched to accept pledges of money from UNB alumni, students, and other supporters. (Please don’t send us any money!) You can choose to remain anonymous or to have your name added to our list of pledgers and your graduation year from UNB. Use the contact e-mail below to send your pledge amount in:


This pledge drive will be under the supervision of the non-profit organization Friends of the UNB Woodlot Inc. which will file for incorporation. Directors of the organization will include a broad range of stakeholders such as UNB alumni, UNB professors, UNB students, the Fredericton chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and supporters in the community at large.


UNB was the first public university in North America, enacted by public statute. Under the UNB Higher Education Act, s. 6 (1), UNB may invest money into any property as long as they do so exercising good judgment, and care that a person of prudence, discretion and intelligence would exercise as a TRUSTEE of the property of others.

In 1800, King George III granted the UNB Woodlot to the College of New Brunswick. This area is legally a Wildlife Refuge and is 10 times the size of Odell Park in Fredericton and 4 times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver. It is one of the oldest managed woodlots in North America, used by faculty researchers, students, and the community alike.

How can it be in the best interest of UNB students and alumni to have university land given away to the development of big box retail stores? And how can you have comprehensive land use planning if “there is no plan in place” for the mixed development area?

Our message to the UNB administration and Board of Governors is simple. We request that a moratorium be placed on the construction of all roads (e.g. a 45-metre right of way, 4-lane Knowledge Park Drive extension) until such time as the mixed-use development plan and related public consultation are complete.

The development of the UNB Woodlot is a public issue. The trustees of UNB have to put the best interests of students and the UNB community above their own in deciding how to develop this land.

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For more information, contact:

Mark D’Arcy, UNB Alumni (BSc ’86) and Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 506-454-5119 Charles Fournier, UNB Alumni (BA ’05) and Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 506-471-306

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