Saskatoon's green network is the collection of green spaces and other "green infrastructure" found on public land in the city. It includes natural areas, parks, the urban forest, and smaller features such as bioswales and community gardens. Considering natural systems as a network rather than separate components helps the City manage and improve overall green space in the city.
The City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan includes the following key actions within the Recreation, Culture and Leisure, and Environmental Sustainability priority areas:
- Develop asset management plans for key recreation infrastructure and equipment and incorporate green infrastructure and natural assets into existing asset management plans for parks.
- Implement actions in the Green Infrastructure Strategy and Implementation Plan within proposed timelines.
- Develop proactive policies, strategies and practices to ensure the environment is protected from damage and, where possible, ecosystems are enhanced.
Where are we now?
The green network analysis completed in 2019, found that Saskatoon's green network comprises 11,150 hectares or almost half of the city's footprint. This includes 3,068 hectares of natural areas (grasslands, wetlands, forest/shrubland); 2,185 hectares of parks, green spaces, and rights-of-way; and an average of 10% tree canopy across the city.
What Are We Doing?
The Green Infrastructure Strategy was received by City Council in 2020, and lays out the vision for a green network that provides sustainable habitat for people and nature. The holistic green network considers natural, enhanced, and engineered green infrastructure, which as a system provides far more effective services when considered together than when apart. Nature-based solutions help Saskatoon sequester carbon and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.