Lower Dingman: Leaving Private Groups To Restore Tree Canopy Takes Too Long

Facts About Lower Dingman ESA

The Lower Dingman Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) covers 20 hectares of publicly-owned lands in southwest London. While still within City limits, this ESA is situated in a rural setting, unlike most of London’s publicly-owned ESAs. It is part of the larger Lower Dingman Corridor potential ESA, most of which is in private ownership.

Prior to 1955, the land west of the creek was used for crops, while the east side was a mixture of pasture and woodland. The land was reforested in stages in the 1950s to 1980s, starting in 1959 by the Delaware Sportsmen’s Association.

The access point for the Lower Dingman ESA is located at 3370 Homewood Lane, reached via Deadman’s Road east of Westdel Bourne. Hikers will find 1.6 km of managed trails to explore. They are identified by yellow trail markers on trees or posts. Most of the trail is flat and sections offer picturesque views of Dingman Creek. These facts are in the city’s brochure about the area.

Private Reforestation Efforts Not Enough

The Delaware Sportsmen’s Association did great work, as does Reforest London today. It’s fantastic that private groups have been working on reforestation and growing our tree canopy. Yet, Londoners cannot leave the job of of growing our tree canopy to a couple of private groups. We need to grow our tree canopy to 40% as soon as possible citywide, and not just over a few hectors.

To do that, we need to elect city counsellors who understand what will happen if we do not aggressively counter the causes of global warming. We must be proactive in planting trees and expanding greenspace because trees gobble up carbon, and humanity has produced so much carbon that it has raised earth’s temperature and changed climates worldwide.

The trees planted between forty and sixty years ago have restored the forest canopy for that 20 hectares. That’s fantastic. Yet, we don’t have forty years before some pretty dire consequences of global warming hit us. We barely have twenty years for trees to mature before cities begin being too hot to inhabit. So must start planting in a big way NOW.

Every municipality must join in the effort to halt and reverse global warming.  This is an existential threat to humanity and no city can sit this one out.