Friday, September 29, 2017

National Forest Week: What's your favourite tree?

Thanks for celebrating National Forest Week with us! We've spent the entire week telling you our stories and now it's your turn.

Send out a Tweet or Instagram using #WesternUGrowsOnTrees with a pic of your favourite tree on campus and the story of it's significance to you.

I'll get you started...

The pink flowers in this picture are cherry blossoms. The tree usually blooms in May along with a few others in the Medway-Sydenham courtyard. For students, May means study, exam, home with no time to 'stop and smell the flowers'. And for non-residents of Medway-Sydenham Hall, this courtyard is very much hidden from the bustle of core campus.

And as beautiful as the campus is, I always thought it a shame that the campus community will rarely experience some of the most incredible aspects of our natural environment on campus.

So I take every opportunity - including this one - to share the aesthetic charm that is tucked away in the courtyard. Imagine living in Medway-Sydenham Hall, waking up in the morning, looking out your window and seeing this vibrant pink array contrasted by a seemingly infinite blue sky.

Truly awesome and definitely one of my favs. What's yours?

- Posted by Brandon on behalf of Facilities Management.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

National Forest Week: Discovering our very own arboretum

Biology Dept. - Dr. W. Sherwood Fox
Named after Western's third President, Dr. W. Sherwood Fox, the Sherwood Fox Arboretum was established in 1981 by then president, Dr. George Connell. Fox was an avid botanist, noting that Southwestern Ontario's abundance of tulip trees is what lured him to Western's campus.

The arboretum is a botanical garden of trees and shrubs cultivated for scientific, conservation, education and ornamental purposes. The Sherwood Fox Arboretum encompasses all the planted trees and shrubs on campus. Because of the vast number of species found in such close proximity, it plays an important role in education and research. Some of the trees are even labelled for easy identification.

The Arboretum is home to a growing number of species that can thrive in the Great Lakes Lowlands climate region and there is a renewed focus to plant native species. The current arboretum inventory includes roughly 2,400 trees of 350 species. Facilities Management's Landscape Services team maintains the grounds and manages the health and well-being of plants and trees on campus.

The best way to experience the natural environment at Western is to follow the Walking Tour Map. Recently updated for the Global Challenge, the self-guided tour takes adventurers to the far ends of campus, offering facts on areas of significance along the way. Download the Walking Tour Map.

Be sure to take a break and walk through Canada's most beautiful campus. It is even more spectacular when the leaves begin to change colour in Autumn.

Landscape Services:
Walking Tour Map:
Department of Biology Sherwood Fox Arboretum information:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

National Forest Week: National Tree Day Giveaway

Today, September 27, is National Tree Day!

In support of National Tree Day and London's Million Tree Challenge, Western Sustainability team is giving away free seedlings to members of the campus community. Help celebrate National Tree Day, adopt a free tree and find a great spot at home to plant it.

The giveaway will be on the road, see below for convenient times and locations:

Support Services Building (4th Floor Main Lobby): 9:30am - 10:30am
Natural Sciences Centre (1st Floor Main Entrance Lobby): 11:00am - 12:00pm
Middlesex College (1 Floor Main Entrance Lobby): 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Western's National Tree Day Giveaway Poster [2.5MB]:
Sustainability at WesternU:

National Forest Week: Historic Vimy Oaks bring moment of nationhood to campus

Photo credit: Vimy Foundation, Vimy Oaks
In honor of the sacrifices made at Vimy Ridge and in support of the Vimy Centennial Park Project, Western is planting three oak trees that share their 'roots' with a significant moment in Canadian History. 

According to the Vimy Foundation, soldiers seeking souvenirs following the victory at Vimy Ridge led to Ontarian Leslie Miller gathering up a handful of acorns. Upon his return from France, he planted them on a farm in the Scarborough area, where they still stand today.

Saplings grafted with the limbs of those trees are now available to the public. Western has acquired three of these trees. The proceeds help fund the Centennial Park being installed near the Canadian National Vimy Memorial site in Northern France.

This week, the aptly named Commemorative Vimy Oaks will be delivered on campus where they will find a new permanent home. A more formal introduction will be announced in the Fall.

Find our more about...

Friday, September 22, 2017

National Forest Week: Planting 150 maples on campus

Western’s Landscape Services team is planting one tree for each one of Canada’s birthdays.

Beginning the same week as National Forest Week (September 25-29), the first batch of the 150 trees will find a new home on campus. The young trees, all varieties of Maple, are a mix of heights and diameters.

 “Trees of varying maturity provide more flexibility when planting and will enhance sustained growth,” says Mike Lunau, Manager, Landscape Services. “They will be spread throughout campus for everyone to enjoy over the years." 

Landscape Services will be transplanting the larger trees. Using specialized heavy equipment to dig and to load trees with bulkier, more developed root systems. Many of these trees will be planted around TD Stadium.

For planting the smaller Maples, Landscape Services will be joined by student-led EnviroWestern and the Ivey Sustainability Club. This batch will be spread throughout Western's more naturalized areas, integrating with our established wooded areas.

"It is great to have the support of our student groups," says Mike. "Our campus is built on the combined efforts of those that work and study here - this is a prime example of that."