ACER announces funding of $80,100 from Ontario Trillium foundation under its Ontario Resilient Community Fund. The fund supports the non-profit sector to recover and rebuild from the impacts arising from COVID-19 so they can effectively meet community needs.
“This funding comes at a critical moment for ACER, so that we can pivot operations and continue to serve residents and their non-profit agency ecosystem,” said Alice Casselman, Founder and President of ACER – Association for Canadian Educational Resources.
ACER will use funds to continue to pandemic-adapt and accelerate digitizing ACER’s full suite of outdoor education and climate labs. An intensive six-month recovery pivot will be possible by tapping external web-based expertise and digital business consultants in order to refresh its business plan.
New content will be generated for additional on-line resources, training and hosting community stakeholder webinar meetings. A mobile adapted TreeTracker© platform to streamline species identification, geolocation and data collection.
Mississauga Lakeshore MPP Rudy Cuzzetto said “Non-profit organizations are a crucial and valued part of any community, especially here in Mississauga-Lakeshore. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they still deliver. This one-time funding will help these organizations safely deliver their programs and services as they return to building healthier and more vibrant communities.”
ACER is the preferred school yard tree planting agency of Mississauga’s One Million Trees program.
Through its volunteers, since 2013 ACER has contributed an inventory of 1726 trees to Mississauga sites. Since 1989, thousands more native trees and ecosystem shrubs have been planted across 13 Conservation Authorities and more than 60 school yards rimming the Golden Horseshoe Area.
“In six months time, we will be fully ready for fall 2021 school-involved planting with residents and their non-profit community agencies,” says Alice.
Pandemic-adapted school yard tree planting can be a way to bring remote and bricks-and-mortar students together safely, and socially, while delivering enriched hands-on STEM, ecology and outdoor education curriculum. Escalation in vaccine availability in May boosts vaccine confidence now and leads to greater safety for in-person outdoor activities in the fall for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Whether students attend brick-and-mortar schools or study remotely, municipalities can easily extend their One Million Trees engagement in low-shade communities,” said Nimesha Basnayaka, ACER’s Program Coordinator.
In adapting to pandemic protocols, in 2020 new outdoor/ online/ remote treekeeper units dubbed “Mulch, Measure and MOR” were designed with digital resources and training videos posted on ACER’s website.
Established in 1987, ACER is committed to helping communities understand and respond locally to global climate change. ACER envisions healthy, diverse, resilient communities where everyone works together for a better, greener world. ACER inclusively supports people of all ages and backgrounds in their grass-roots initiatives to plant trees by educating participants in measuring, monitoring and reporting on tree health and growth.