Arbour Day blooms at York

(One eager volunteer ready to plant a seedling)

The weather didn’t cooperate for York’s Arbour Day April 3, but the York is U Green Team spirit was in full bloom.

(Planting a red oak at York, left to right with shovels: Joy Manalo, York’s Green Team director; Lorna R. Marsden, York president and vice-chancellor ; and Tony Fleischmann, respresentative of the International Society of Arboriculture)

The following account was submitted by John Wilson, manager of York’s Postal Services, Facilities, Planning & Construction.

Those who attended the Arbour Day event at York last week heard some inspiring speakers, such as Tony Fleischmann, an authority on urban forestry, city forester for Mississauga and the president of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Fleischmann talked about the benefits trees provide: They clean our air, prevent erosion, provide shade and act as wind breaks. He also spoke about how York’s Arbour Day was linked with 1,400 other schools and institutional events which collectively made up the first Olympic earth week celebrations. In addition, he told us about the struggles and challenges of urban forestry.

Next, Mark Kolhberg, a 1999 York graduate, explained how in 1995 he got the idea to plant trees at York and since that time has organized the planting of more than 11,000 trees on the Keele campus and at Glendon College campus. Kohlberg is responsible for the naturalized site on the Keele campus by Hoover Creek, known as Saywell forest, where volunteers planted 200 spruce seedlings once the speeches were over.

(Two volunteers follow the trail of pre-dug holes for seedlings on the Keele campus.)