Trees for Tomorrow today

The provincial government is contracting out its high-profile Trees for Tomorrow initiative. The intiative - an urban reforestation program that was announced in the Campbell administration's recent throne speech - will see four million trees "planted in schoolyards, hospital grounds, parks, campuses, parking lots, paths and walkways and other public spaces in BC communities." And, today, the government quietly announced on BC Bid it's looking for a contractor to "undertake communication, educational components, as well as the coordination of administration of the application and grant process of the Trees for Tomorrow for the entire province of BC."

That request for proposal also states government will be providing "in excess of $10 million in provincial funding over five years" to Tress for Tomorrow. Although the community development ministry won't be "responsible for directly supplying trees for this intiative." Moreover, funding for Trees for Tomorrow projects will be "on at least a 1:1 basis (provincial: other)." And that means "all funds awarded through the Initiative will not exceed 50% of the total cost of a project." The following is complete copy of the relevant portion of that bid document.

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B. Requirements and Response

1. Summary of the Requirement

The Province has committed to be carbon neutral by 2010 and to reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020.

Trees for Tomorrow will provide opportunities for every community in BC to help sequester carbon, beautify public spaces and make their communities greener and healthier.

Over the next five years, these communities will plant four million trees in BC's urban areas, absorbing a million tonnes of greenhouse gases, improving air quality, increasing energy efficiency and regenerating forests in urban areas affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle.

* Trees for Tomorrow is one of the Province's key strategies for reducing greenhouse gases by 33 percent by 2020.
* Trees for Tomorrow gives BC communities, organizations and individuals a tangible way to contribute toward positive climate action while creating other social, economic and environmental benefits.
* Four million trees will be planted in schoolyards, hospital grounds, parks, campuses, parking lots, paths and walkways and other public spaces in BC communities.
* More than 120 BC communities have already signed on to the Climate Action Charter and Trees for Tomorrow will help them meet these Charter obligations.

The purpose of this RFP is to select a Proponent who, in consultation with the Ministry, will undertake communication, educational components, as well as the coordination of administration of the application and grant process of the Trees for Tomorrow for the entire province of BC. The Proponent will track and ensure that projects that have received grants are meeting the objectives of the Initiative. The Proponent will also build and nurture support for the Initiative by leveraging additional funding for projects. The Ministry retains responsibility for the Initiative and the approval of all grants.

The term of this Contract will commence approximately September 15, 2008 and continue until March 31, 2011, subject to satisfactory Contractor performance and budget availability, with the Province reserving the option to renew for up to two (2) additional one (1) year terms.

2. Additional Definitions

In addition to the Request for Proposals Definitions set out in paragraph 1 of Section A, throughout this Request for Proposals, the following definitions will apply:

a) "Afforestation" means land that has been without forest for much longer than land that would be considered reforested;
b) "BC" means the geographical region of British Columbia;
c) "Initiative" means the Trees for Tomorrow initiative; and
d) "Urban forest" means the sum of all sylvan (woody) and associated vegetation in and around dense human settlements on public lands, ranging from small communities in rural settings to metropolitan regions. Examples include street trees, remnant and emergent forest patches, tree plantations, and vegetation in parks, yards, highway verges, utility rights-of-way, and business and institutional campuses. A city's urban forests may also be considered to extend beyond its municipal boundary to encompass forested watersheds that provide a city's drinking water.

3. Ministry Situation/Overview

3.1 Ministry Responsibility

The Ministry envisions BC's communities as great places in which to live. The Ministry pursues this vision by promoting liveable, sustainable communities that provide healthy and safe places for British Columbians. Additional information on the Ministry can be viewed at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/cd/.

The Ministry is responsible for the Initiative, mobilizing and engaging community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals across BC as well as leveraging private sector participation. Over the next five years, the Ministry will support local governments, school districts, stewardship groups and other community organizations to plant four million trees in urban areas to sequester carbon, enhance energy efficiency, and regenerate urban mountain pine beetle affected areas. Note that the Ministry is not responsible for directly supplying trees for this Initiative.

3.2 Background

3.2.1 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target's Act

The Province committed to be carbon neutral by 2010 and to reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020 with the passing of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target's Act ("Act"). The Act extends to all public sector organizations, including ministries, Crown agencies, school board districts, universities and colleges, and health authorities.

BC became the first jurisdiction in North America to make a legally binding commitment to carbon neutral government operations. Additional information regarding the Province's commitment to the environment and carbon neutrality can be viewed at:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/docs/bc_an_environmental_leader.pdf
http://www.climateactionsecretariat.gov.bc.ca.

3.2.2 The Initiative

The Initiative is a Province urban afforestation initiative designed to combat climate change, to bring local solutions to global problems, and to contribute to the goal of reducing provincial greenhouse gases (GHG) by at least 33 percent below current levels by 2020.

The February 12, 2008 Throne Speech stated: "A new Trees for Tomorrow program will launch a large, urban afforestation initiative. Millions of trees will be planted in backyards, schoolyards, hospital grounds, civic parks, campuses, parking lots and other public spaces in BC. Major investments in tree nurseries will be made to assist this initiative. These new trees will help clean our air and "˜lock away' carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming."

Objectives for the Initiative are the following:

Environmental

1. to significantly increase BC's carbon sink through urban afforestation
2. to expand urban forests so local governments can meet their Climate Action Charter obligations
3. to accelerate the forest regeneration of Mountain Pine Beetle Affected urban areas
4. to contribute to achieving zero net deforestation policy

Economic

5. to facilitate major investments in local tree nurseries through purchase of inventory
6. to contribute to energy savings in communities Social
7. to transform spaces into areas where residents can be physically and socially active
8. to promote the value of urban afforestation through education and extension
9. to optimize the strategic and continued involvement of youth and other such organizations (e.g. Youth Climate Leadership Alliance)

Two basic pillars are required to meet the objectives:

Create new or add to the existing urban forest canopies in BC with appropriate sized trees and species, which will dramatically increase survival rates in urban settings.

Reforest Mountain Pine Beetle affected urban areas with seedlings:
Seedlings will be planted in settings where traditional silvicultural methods can be used (but still within the urban forest). If necessary, a photo-degradable protective cone can be used or pioneer species can be planted to shade and fertilize the target climax community.

3.3 Project Scope/Budget

The purpose of this RFP is to select a Proponent who, in consultation with the Ministry, will undertake the communication, educational components, as well as the coordination of administration of the application and grant process of the Initiative for the entire province of BC. The Proponent will track and ensure that projects that have received grants are meeting the objectives of the Initiative. The Proponent will also build and nurture support for the Initiative by leveraging additional funding for projects. Note that funding for the Initiative is on at least a 1:1 basis (provincial: other). All funds awarded through the Initiative will not exceed 50% of the total cost of a project. The Ministry retains responsibility for the Initiative and the approval of all grants.

The preference of the Ministry is to select one Proponent to provide all services described in this RFP. Joint submissions or sub-contracting is permitted to ensure that coverage of this Initiative reaches all communities across BC. Refer to A. "Definitions and Administrative Requirements" section 17 "Sub-Contracting" for specific details regarding joint submissions or sub-contracting.

3.3.1 Location

Proponents are responsible for and will work at their own office location that is equipped with the necessary office communication to provide the services described in this RFP such as telephone, fax and e-mail. Further Proponents should possess standard office automation tools and the necessary computer hardware and software to perform the services describe in this RFP.

3.3.2 Travel

In consultation with the Ministry, travel will be required across BC to promote the Initiative, conduct workshops and build support for the Initiative.

When required or requested by the Ministry, the Proponent will meet or perform services or will attend meetings with stakeholders at the Ministry office or at other locations in Greater Victoria. Note that Proponents located outside the Greater Victoria area are responsible for all travel related expenditures to and from their location to Greater Victoria.

3.3.3 Budget

The Province is providing in excess of $10 million in provincial funding over five years for the entire the Initiative and all funding for grants.
3.3.4 Payment

Payment is subject to Ministry approval and the completion of deliverables.

Actual timing and amounts of payments will be negotiated with the successful Proponent.

3.3.5 Term

The term of this Contract will commence approximately September 15, 2008 and continue until March 31, 2011, subject to satisfactory contractor performance and budget availability, with the Province reserving the option to renew for up to two (2) additional one (1) year terms.

4. Requirements

4.1 Qualifications and Experience

4.1.1 Minimum of five (5) years of experience providing services for similar projects of scope and nature to those described in this RFP including:

* Demonstrated experience delivering province-wide programs of similar scope and nature;
* Demonstrated experience ensuring province-wide programs reached at the local level;

4.1.2 Demonstrated experience in engaging, mobilizing and working with local governments, school districts, universities, hospitals, volunteer organizations, stewardship groups, community organizations and other stakeholders;

4.1.3 Ability to link to other the Province initiatives"”particularly to the Youth Climate Action Alliance;

4.1.4 Extensive experience leveraging funds from non-government sources;

4.1.5 Proven ability to develop performance measurement framework, success indicators and reporting process;

4.1.6 Understand the total environment in which the urban afforestation initiative must operate, including all the physical (including biological), institutional, social, legal, and political factors that either facilitate or inhibit management of urban forests;

4.1.7 Proven knowledge of urban forest needs, such as its health, vigour, invasive species, diversity, stocking, functionality, and aesthetics;

4.1.8 Inherent expertise in the technical aspects of urban afforestation;

4.1.9 Minimum five years of experience in urban afforestation.

4.2 Services

The Proponent, in consultation with the Ministry, will be responsible for the following:

Communication

4.2.1 Generating interest and public profile for the Initiative and create enthusiasm for the Initiative to ensure provincial-wide participation;

4.2.2 Contacting each local government and school district at least once to promote the Initiative;

4.2.3 Supporting community initiatives;

4.2.4 Building and maintaining relationships with local governments, the private sector, non profit organizations, stewardship groups, community organizations and other groups to raise financial and in-kind support and create enthusiasm;

4.2.5 Engaging and working with the Youth Climate Action Alliance;

4.2.6 Ensuring significant community project milestones are celebrated with appropriate profile for partners.

4.2.7 Notifying the Province of all community and regional events related to the Initiative. This includes milestones, as well as planting events, public consultations, and all other activities;

4.2.8 Generating interest and acceptance in the Initiative from local governments, community organizations, private sector and local stewardship groups;

4.2.9 Attracting grant applications from communities throughout BC, with varying populations and sizes;

4.2.10 Developing linkages to other Province initiatives.

Education

4.2.11 In consultation with the Ministry, implementing 25 educational workshops on urban afforestation for communities, using general topics, themes and possible content provided by the Ministry, between the commencement of the contract and March 31, 2009. Workshops will be conducted in Prince George, Prince Rupert, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Nanaimo, Victoria, ten lower mainland cities, and six cities to be determined;

4.2.12 Make recommendations to communities regarding appropriate species selection, species placement for maximum environmental, economic and social impact, and long term stewardship plans, including maintenance and monitoring of the Initiative sites.

4.2.13 Provide expertise in urban afforestation.

Administration

4.2.14 Coordinating and administering the application and grant process for the planting of thousands of trees over the next year;

4.2.15 Providing advice, education and information to grant applicants and recipients regarding grant criteria, specific project details and budget items, including but not limited to:

a. Ensuring that all needs of the urban forest are recognized
b. Reducing the risk to property and human safety
c. Ensuring that all work is prioritized
d. Providing a defensible basis for budgets and grant requests
e. Fostering a continuous program, regardless of personnel changes

4.2.16 Receiving applications and screening them for eligibility using guidelines provided by the Ministry;

4.2.17 Submitting applications, including a recommendations list, to the Ministry for funding decisions;

4.2.18 Delivering a province-wide urban afforestation initiative;

4.2.19 Meeting the timelines of the project.

Tracking and Reporting

4.2.20 Tracking and reporting to the Ministry on a quarterly basis;

4.2.21 Providing other reports requested by the Ministry;

4.2.22 Quantifying trees planted on an ongoing basis throughout the length of the Initiative;

4.2.23 Tracking, reviewing and reporting the progress of grant recipients to ensure deliverables are met;

4.2.24 Developing an effective and relevant performance measurement framework, success indicators and reporting process.

Other

4.2.25 When required or requested, providing the Ministry with expert advice;

4.2.26 Leveraging additional funding; building and nurturing partnerships with private sector partners and leveraging additional funding for the Initiative on at least a 1:1 basis (provincial: other). All funds awarded through the Province will not exceed 50% of the total cost of a project;

4.2.27 Ensuring success in obtaining the Ministry goals/objectives for the Initiative with minimal Ministry resources available.

4.3 Contractor Performance

The Contractor will be advised in writing by the Ministry if services are not performed to the satisfaction of the Ministry. If a Contractor fails to resolve any documented deficiencies indicated by the Ministry, the Ministry may terminate the Contract at their sole discretion.

1 Comment

Excellent. This is good news. An admirable project. There sure aren't enough trees in British Columbia.

I trust the government will apply due diligence and carefully scrutinize the respondents to appoint only the most qualified.

Then again the forest, transportation and revenue people implementing the pharmaceutical recommendations should be finished by the time this is good to go - maybe they could just be appointed to this tree project - hell one of them night even be qualified for this job and the gov could avoid the trouble of going through a sham rfp award.

Thanks for the chuckles Sean, pass the kleenex please.

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