onload="dynAnimation()"> UW Campus Tree Inventory '98

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Cat is up in the tree!!!! Introduction

An Inventory of the Trees Within the Ring Road at UW

Project Definition

    There is currently no record of the tree species for the University of Waterloo (UW) urban forest.  An urban forest is defined in the Dictionary of Natural Resource Management as:

...a specialized form of forest management concerned with the cultivation and management of trees in the entire area influenced and/or utilized by the urban population. It includes trees on streets, in parks, on private property, as well as watersheds. Urban forests provide many benefits, including climate amelioration, engineering, architectural, and aesthetic uses.     Our primary  objective is to make recommendations for a more sustainable urban forest management strategy.  To achieve this objective, we will discuss the ecological, social and economic functions of our urban forest, and determine criteria to monitor integrity.  We will also inventory the current campus biophysical ecological community, and identify and plot all tree species present within the northern portion of Ring Road.  This is compared to the 1972 tree community.  This information will be useful to the Plant Operations Department in maintaining a diverse, healthy and therefore sustainable tree community at UW.


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Vision of Sustainability

    Sustainability entails "meeting today's needs without compromising the needs of future" (Myers, 1996).  Researching and analysing the various aspects of a healthy, aesthetic urban forest  will contribute to sustainability by (1) meeting the ecological needs of the individual trees, and (2) meeting the social needs of the UW community.

    The inventory will entail detailed information on the location, identification, health status, and species diversity of the trees within the designated study area.  This will work to ensure a more sustainable tree community if trees planted are adaptable to the UW environment.

    To meet the social needs of the UW community, it will be necessary to address the educational, aesthetic, and spiritual needs of the staff and students.   It is through education, awareness and hands-on learning that individuals understand and integrate conservation and the concept of sustainability into their lives. You cannot teach others if they cannot teach themselves.


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A Systems Perspective

    For the purpose of this tree inventory, a systems perspective is needed to identify the various components that  contribute to the achievement of our vision of sustainability.  Our group has decided to focus on the systems that exist within the boundaries of The University of Waterloo. We have worked in unison with the department of Plant Operations at the University, who are responsible for the maintenance of the trees on campus grounds. Our system boundary has been defined as the tree community contained within the northern half of the Ring Road.

    A secondary system will outline the various aspects of solving our problem statement. This will include a clear definition of our problem statement in terms of sustainability, as well as various areas that will be covered to resolve our problem. This will further be explained in our  project study design.

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Background and Contacts

    The background information required for our study includes a detailed 1972 map of the UW grounds, and the Preliminary Tree Study of University of Waterloo Campus conducted in 1994. Useful contacts for this project include Patti Cook, waste management coordinator for UW, and Les Van Dongen and Jerry Hutton of the Plant Operations Department.

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