This program is made up of multi-purpose tree planting projects. The primary focus is to provide young people with an opportunity to experience the creation and management of tree plantations, plots of agricultural crops, and wild flower gardens that can provide long-term opportunities for learning through direct participation.
An Education Centre in Sustainable Agriculture™ would be built around a working sugar bush of three hundred (300) Maple trees capable of being used for the production of Maple Syrup. The trees would be of two distinct species; one the traditional Sugar Maple Acer Saccharum and the other a new variety of maple syrup producing tree the Regal Petticoat® Maple Acer pseudoplatanus ‘tunpetti’. The curriculum would provide an opportunity to plant and then track the heath and growth of the trees; and to contribute to the research into the relative merit of using new species of trees for sustainable agricultural pursuits.
One impetus behind this program is the current cycle of “die-back” of Sugar Maple trees in the Great Lakes Basin and the projected decline in Sugar Maples due to effects of Climate Change. Since Maple Syrup production is a hundreds of million dollar agricultural crop in Southern Ontario, this research aspects of these projects will be of great interest to both government and business interests in this economic sector.
Additional related projects could include wild flower plots to support apiaries and butterfly habitats; and plots demonstrating the interaction of food plants like the “Three Sisters” (Corn, Climbing Beans, and Squash) planted by the First Nations for thousands of years.