December 2021 Newsletter

You can download the newsletter in PDF format here:

From Our President - Alice Casselman

It has been a challenging yet wonderful year! What we have accomplished, under Covid protocols, is really astonishing! Planting trees in Peel schoolyards and Mississauga parks, mulching and measuring in Bramalea, employing Canada Summer Jobs students and university interns.  As a small charity we have moved forward with new proposals for leading-edge work in citizen science, developing new programs—TreeTrackers, MiDON, and carbon-offset donations for trees we would plant and measure. 

The silver lining of the Covid black cloud is that people have discovered that we all need trees for our mental health. Getting outdoors has become more important and valued for our emotional and physical well-being. This is something we have long known as educators, but found very hard to quantify and report! New tools are now making these benefits measurable and we can confidently add them to the long list of benefits of trees. 

Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and Happy Tree Planting in 2022!

Consider a Gift to ACER

Trees are proven technology. They beautify our world and clean our air. And they’re our best ally in fighting climate change. Help ACER plant and care for trees. DONATE NOW via CanadaHelps.

Books for Holiday Gifting

Books are always a good choice for gifts at the end of December when we have time away from school, work, and other commitments, and when it’s blustery outside and cosy within, a good book is surely the best of companions. In this second pandemic Christmas season, books are better friends than ever.  

Here’s a tiny sampling of available works on trees and nature for all ages and levels of understanding from cutting-edge science to whimsical tales for toddlers—the selection features newest discoveries, personal memoir, artwork, gentle fables, and interactive play. Prices are approximate. Where we can, we’re noting internet videos to introduce you to some of the authors. If you don’t see something that quite meets your needs, visit your local bookstore—there’s an awesome array!

For Adults

Diana Beresford-Kroeger
To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest. 2019, $30

The Irish-Canadian botanist, medical biochemist and author recounts her unusual upbringing and scientific discoveries. Steeped from childhood in the ancient lore of the Celts and educated in many disciplines, Beresford-Kroeger, who has also worked in nuclear radiation and cardiovascular research, explains the role that trees can play in saving us from the devastation of climate change. Her website features several interviews.

Suzanne Simard
Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. 2021, $35

The author, brought up in BC a family that depended on the logging industry, recounts her personal journey and her meticulous scientific experimentation resulting in the discovery of how trees communicate, share and assist each other through a complex forest underground network. On the chapters.indigo website, you can read sample pages from her bestseller, and several interviews and TED talks featuring Simard are viewable on Youtube.

Helen  Humphreys
The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America. 2017, $30

Celebrated Canadian poet and novelist recounts the wondrous history of apples—at one point there were 17,000 known varietals, of which about 100 are now grown commercially—as she struggled to cope with her sadness in the approaching death of a dear friend. Her fascinating and poignant stories entwine, and and are illustrated with beautiful century-old watercolour images of apples, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Leanne Shapton
Native Trees of Canada. 2010, $20

Inspired by a classic work published in 1917 by the Canadian Dept. of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources, this is a bold modern collection of oil paintings and watercolours depicting prominent species that grow in Canada.  The artist, Leanne Shapton, is a New York City-based illustrator, graphic novelist and textile designer. A boxed set of postcards of some of the paintings is available.

Keith Rushforth
National Geographic Field Guide to the Trees of North America.  2006, $25

A field guide for forest and urban explorers alike,  this book has 1000 photos, and information to aid users in identifying more than 350 species of trees in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico with detailed descriptions and clear, understandable text. Good basic resource. 

For Children

Sandra Boynton
Woodland Dance. 2021,  $11

Animals in the forest come together for a dance in the moonlight. Boynton’s  familiar charming drawings and text make this board book a read-along favourite for 2-3 year olds.

Christie Mathewson
Tap the Magic Tree. 2016, $10

An interactive book for 4-to-8-year-olds that encourages little readers to rub, tap, and shake the book before turning the pages, in a playful telling of the life of trees, the critters that live in them, and the changing of seasons.

Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree. 2014, $20

This 50-year-old classic for kids of all ages by the American poet, cartoonist, and musician tells the story of “a tree who loved a little boy.” The boy returns to the tree throughout his life, and the tree unfailingly gives him what he wants and needs. You can also  find on Youtube the 1973 animated short film version of the book read and with music by the author.

Leo Buscaglia
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of LIfe for All Ages. 1982, $20

Freddie and the other leaves on a tree grow together and change, and eventually fall, in this sensitive allegory on life, death, overcoming fear, and finding one’s place in the repeating cycles of life. Its author, Dr. Buscaglia, was an American educator and motivational speaker who gained worldwide fame in the 1980s and 90s, for his advocacy of love as a healing force. 

Peter Wohlleben
Can You Hear the Trees Talking? Discover the Hidden Life of the Forest. 2019, $25

A retelling for kids aged 8 to 10 of Wohlleben’s message in his adult bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees. He describes the “forest internet,” the ways trees communicate and help each other, their importance for our health, and many fascinating facts about the trees, plants and creatures that populate the forest. The author reads the “Is There a Forest Internet?” chapter in a short video on Youtube. At the end, he asks all readers, as we at ACER do, to support your local bookstore.

ACER NEWS is published by:
Association for Canadian Educational Resources
12 Helene Street, Unit 707 
Mississauga, ON  L5G 3B5

Editor: Elizabeth MacLean


Charitable registration no.: 890642515RR001 

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