ACER: Ready for Back-to-School, with COVID Protocol and Distance Learning Programs

ACER is ready and waiting for back-to-school programs to kick in.
 
In addition to pre-scheduled community tree planting activities and volunteer opportunities for monitoring and maintenance of established school yard tree sites, ACER offers resources on-line at www.acer-acre.ca for distance learning units in Ecology 101 and biology, as well as training videos on various aspects of tree planting.
 
Mulching is an easily distanced, fresh-air activity, suitable for all ages. It’s a great way to begin hands-on outdoor learning. ACER has new resources for teachers and their classes.
 
“We missed our spring 2020 planting season altogether,” said Alice Casselman, Founder and President of ACER (Association for Canadian Educational Resources, named for Canada’s maple genus acer). “But we are ready now for fall, with our field-tested distanced tree-planting protocol.” 
 
After months of waiting, within a week of Peel Region’s Stage 3-Reopening on July 31, ACER joined more than 40 people including reforestation experts, parks staff, and novice volunteers to plant ACER’s signature Planting for Change native tree suites in Fleetwood Park, Mississauga.
 
The trees are tagged so that annual measurements from each unique specimen can be collected using Smithsonian Institute and Environment Canada protocols. Data can thus be shared for international climate change research.
 
In September, Alice says weather is perfect for students and their school communities to get outside. Half of the 60+ Planting for Change tree sites are due for annual measurements and protective over-winter mulching. With teachers and students returning to school, ACER is waiting to connect so that mulch can be delivered for installation at Planting for Change sites.
 
For distance learning purposes, parents and parent councils will be happy to know that, through ACER, mulch can be delivered to a public schoolyard in Mississauga or Brampton, and arrangements can be made for proper training in ACER’s technique.
 
Under the City of Brampton and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) supervision, the community tree planting for fall 2020 will see up to 1,500 trees planted by social bubble teams in Bramalea Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) areas.
 
“Because of COVID protocols, limited registration and no-exceptions masking are in effect,” says Alice. “ACER’s planting opportunity is exclusively by invitation to Brampton’s E, F, and K target sites, as determined by low-tree canopy priorities of Brampton’s Parks and Forestry department.”
 
In March 2020, ACER was funded by Arbor Day Foundation under the TD Green Spaces program to support the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action
Program.
 
“We want vulnerable communities to enjoy more beautiful, tree-shaded, healthy neighbourhoods,” says ACER founder Alice Casselman. “We can improve wellbeing now, by safely planting trees and create future shady memory sites for people in the area to gather.”
 
For further information, contact Alice Casselman via e-mail at alice.casselman@acer-acre.ca