OUR MISSION: As our climate changes, ACER supports communities with grassroots initiatives to plant trees, and educates on how to measure, monitor and report on tree health and growth.

Let’s Plant, Measure and Mulch

ACER offers teachers and environment clubs a unique chance to relate science to technology, society and the environment at our Outdoor Climate Change Laboratory located at the Humber Arboretum.

“Let’s Plant, Measure and Mulch!” provides a unique opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of scientific research through outdoor activities. The project  includes planting new trees in restoration areas, maintaining existing forests, monitoring their progress, recording and reporting data.

Over 3000 students have been involved in planting, measuring and mulching in ACER’s urban Climate Change Laboratory in the Humber Arboretum (below Humber College North Campus in the northwest corner of Toronto).

Students and volunteers have planted 2,100 trees at ACER’s one-hectare research plot at the Humber College’s Arboretum. Since the original planting in 2002, students have measured the success and growth of these trees annually. These trees were planted by students and volunteers in scientific biodiversity-sensitive designs to study the success rate over the long term in a warming global climate. Initially, the experiment was set up to study climate change impacts on tree growth within an urban heat island, 3.7 degrees warmer than rural Ontario, which will experience similar warming with global climate change.

Students from Grade 7 to Grade 12, environmental club members, new Canadian professionals and recent university graduates work with ACER to collect data for analysis. Data is provided to students, scientists, foresters and the public.

Let’s Plant, Measure and Mulch provides a unique opportunity for students beginning with grade 7 to broaden their understanding of scientific research. They are also encouraged to participate and relate their experience to the fields of geography, mathematics, science and technology, environmental or world issues and biology.

Our spring season of measuring and mulching program lasts the first three weeks of May. All programs are full-day activities.

Teacher Orientation Workshops are given by ACER volunteers in the plot at Humber Arboretum on the North Humber College Campus.

Please click on this link: Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot to learn more and to view the data that has been collected between 2002-2012.

Please click on the link: Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot 2 to learn more about the second experiment that started in 2013 and view data collected.

Related Publications:

Biological Threats to Biodiversity
M. B. Karsh, A. Casselman, D. C. Maciver, S. Fung & H. Auld

Benchmarking Biodiversity and Planning Future Forests in Urban Impacted Areas
M. B. Karsh, A. Casselman

Ten Year Results of the First Climate Change Experimental Site in Canada
M. Karsh and A. Casselman, 2012