COURTENAY, B.C. – The City of Courtenay has launched a new contest where its trees and forests are in focus.

The consultation process is currently underway for the city’s Urban Forest Plan. Now, residents are invited to snap a photo of their favourite spot in Courtenay’s urban forest to go towards a crowd sourced ‘story map’.

One photo will be chosen for the cover of the Urban Forest Plan. The winner of the contest will also get a $200 gift certificate to a local nursery.

The photos can be submitted online through the city’s website or via email at planning@courtenay.ca.

“We hope people will show us their special trees and forest places and hopefully have a bit of fun in the process, in addition to the online survey,” said Nancy Gothard, the city’s Policy Planner, in a release.

“The success of the urban forest will ultimately depend on how engaged citizens are in contributing to it. Unlike other public assets, green assets such as trees grow across boundaries and depend on the participation of many. We’re getting a wide variety of photos, most of which include trees as important elements of character streetscapes.”

There is no limit on how many photos can be shared, and participants can also flag areas needing improvement.

The draft forest plan is expected to be available for public review in the fall.