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June 11, 2001
Ontario Trillium Foundation provides grant for forest research at the Humber Arboretum
  
Toronto Parks and Recreation Division -- The Association for Canadian
Educational Resources (known as ACER) received $157,500 from the Ontario
Trillium Foundation to launch a community forest research project at the Humber
Arboretum. Founded in 1977, the Humber Arboretum is a community resource
managed by the City of Toronto, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology
and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, ACER is setting up a model
biodiversity monitoring program at the Arboretum that will mobilize the
community to learn more about how climate change is affecting our forests. The
official launch of the program proceeded with opening remarks at noon on
Sunday, followed by hands-on community participation in the program
at 1 p.m.

ACER has led the way in establishing biodiversity monitoring programs in many
other Ontario communities. But the Humber Arboretum will be the first to set up
the program to monitor urban forests in Toronto. "The Arboretum program will
demonstrate how community members from nine to ninety can work together on
science-based inventories, beginning with trees. It is a hands-on experience to
get them thinking about how they can make a difference to the health of their
own environments." said Alice Casselman, president of ACER.

There are many aspects to the project including surveying, measuring and
identifying trees, and documenting the research data. ACER has pulled together
an impressive volunteer crew to get the project started.

A large portion of the Trillium grant will be used to hire staff to connect
with the community, set up community information workshops and co-ordinate the
task of rallying and teaching volunteers to carry out the monitoring.

This project is a component of a Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) at
the Arboretum, which includes plans to retrofit and expand the Nature Centre
and develop a new Centre for Urban Ecology. The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an
agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, receives annually
$100 million of government funding through Ontario's charity casino initiative.


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