Canopy Project launches citizen science project on Earth Day

By Lindsay Advocate

Five sycamores were recently recognized by Forests Ontario as significant because of their species, age and history.

Celebrate Earth Day by joining the ranks of Canopy Project Kawartha Lakes (CPKL) as “citizen scientists.”

April 22, Earth Day, CPKL will launch a community project to develop a digital map of significant trees.  Citizen scientists (volunteers) will be shown how to add trees and their location to an online app that also records the species and other identifiers.

“This is an easy way for people with a passion for the environment to help us identify and preserve our noteworthy or significant trees while participating in a global initiative,” says Ruth Cameron, CPKL volunteer.

“All it takes is a smartphone and the iNaturalist app — you share your photo observations with your fellow naturalists and the community does the rest.”

Interested citizen scientists will learn how to judge whether a tree is noteworthy or significant, and how to use the app at an event on Earth Day at the Arboretum at Fleming College.  Significance is based on large size, old age, unique species of tree or historical connection. As an example, five sycamore trees were recently recognized by Forests Ontario as significant because of their species, age and history.

“The theme for Earth Day 2022 is ‘Invest in Our Planet’ and this is a tangible way that citizens can contribute. By mapping our significant trees, we have a better chance of preserving them,” adds Cameron.

CPKL is a group of citizens who are taking action to protect and enhance the urban canopy in the settlement areas of Kawartha Lakes. Trees assist in reducing impacts from climate change, air and noise pollution, improve mental health and provide shade and habitat. Through generous public and corporate donations, the group has successfully planted over 64 trees and food-bearing bushes at location such as BGC Kawarthas and Binney and Smith Community Garden. About 60 trees are set to be planted at schools in Lindsay in the next nine months and planning continues for future tree planting projects in 2022.

The citizen science launch event will be held April 22 at Fleming College’s Arboretum from 3-4 p.m. To RSVP or learn more contact Ruth Cameron at .

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