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Students at Glen Ravine PS Lead Urban Forest Restoration Project

Students at Glen Ravine PS Lead Urban Forest Restoration Project

Friday, June 16, 2017
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

The grade 4/5 students at Glen Ravine Junior Public School welcomed local homeowners to plant a native tree species on their property, offering interested residents a 30 minute tree care workshop and a free native tree sapling.

Officially launched in late autumn 2016, following a science inquiry into communities and habitats, where students identified the importance of conserving and restoring Toronto’s urban forest — Glen Ravine Junior Public School’s Tree for Me Project was a student-led initiative contributing to grow Toronto’s urban canopy cover from 27% to 40%.

With the goal of sustainability in mind, students contacted the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation with a partnership proposal, hoping to match 50 native trees to residents to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

 “Acknowledging the traditional territories of the Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of Scugog, Hiawatha, Alderville First Nation, and the Métis Nation, on which our school and community are located, we take great pride in being the next caretakers of this parcel of land. In recognizing the enduring presence of Indigenous people on this land, we would honour the opportunity to restore the native forests surrounding Glen Ravine Junior Public School for past, present, and future generations,” students wrote in their proposal.

Their proposal was accepted. After months of preparation and hard work, students learned that they had not only met their goal, but had surpassed it. Students successfully matched 90 trees to homeowners, and were acknowledged by Toronto Mayor John Tory who visited the students at the school and were commended for their dedication to urban forest restoration. The Mayor invited students to City Hall and they attended a Council Meeting on May 24th, 2017.  Students were honoured with a pen made from the silver maple tree, which inspired Alexander Muir, a Scarborough teacher, to write the Canadian poem, "Maple Leaf Forever," in the year 1867 -- some 150 years ago.

Native tree species offered included, ‚ÄčAcer saccharum (sugar maple), Acer rubrum (red maple), Amelanchier aborea (smooth serviceberry shrub), Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), Quercus rubra (red oak), and Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar). 

This initiative was made possible by the hard work and support of Ms. Sawh, Gr. 4/5 teacher at Glen Ravine Junior Public School and Mr.  Ambi, Teacher Candidate from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  A special thank you to all the school staff and volunteers who helped to make this project a tremendous success!  

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