prof and students, several holding saplings in potsProfessor Cameron Proctor (kneeling) with members of his research team planted trees in Amherstburg for residents willing to allow researchers to monitor the trees’ health.

Map-and-grow project monitoring health of Amherstburg trees

Science students and faculty members rolled up their sleeves to plant trees for this year’s Piroli’s Map and Grow Program on Earth Day, April 22.

Participating residents got one free sapling if they agreed to let researchers plot where the trees are planted and monitor their continued health to ensure they prosper.

“Our students have been amazing helping out and volunteering and we’re using this to project to collect GPS and GIS information and students in the GIS certificate program will use it as part of some of their capstone projects,” says professor Cameron Proctor of the School of the Environment.

“There are a lot of talented and enthusiastic people who care about the environment and want to make a difference in their local communities. We couldn’t do this without them.”

The Faculty of Science partnered with Thrive Amherstburg and the town of Amherstburg for the tree planting.

Bachelor of Environmental Studies major Brian Kountourogiannis is one of the volunteers.

“I am really excited to be working so closely with the Town of Amherstburg,” says Kountourogiannis. “Increasing and monitoring their tree coverage over the next few years will be an incredible experience, and a great way to give back to the community.”

Residents chose from five species of tree:

  • Pagoda dogwood
  • Eastern redbud
  • Tulip tree
  • Red oak
  • Red maple

“All of this combination of resources really comes together to really help drive this forward and therefore get more trees in the ground a lot quicker,” says Dr. Proctor.

Proctor adds that his research team will take non-destructive measurements of each tree’s physical features, such as height and trunk width, and will revisit trees planted in previous years and take growth measurements.

Watch a video of Proctor describing the project. This is the second year for the project; read about the first year here.

—Sara Elliott