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Leopoldo Rocca: CSBO Forestry Internship Student bids farewell and references a sincere request!

Published December 20, 2012

by iris_author

Mr. GH is a Stong House resident at 3105 Steeles Ave. The first time I met Mr. GH was in early May of 2012. I was having lunch, sitting on the main entrance stairs of the Stong House. We did not talk too much, we just stared at each other. After three months of frequent encounters around the forests and trees of Keele campus, we both were more comfortable in our communication. Although we weren’t able to talk directly, I understood his plea for me to help “keep the forest alive”.  

Keeping the forests and trees alive is a matter of life or death for Mr. GH. He has built a subterranean infrastructure around campus in order to get access to food from trees, mostly Austrian pines that, for some reason, are in severe decline.

Keeping the physical and natural infrastructure are key elements in achieving SCBO’s vision of a sustainable campus. Wild animals, trees, and forest – natural infrastructure – provide a number of services for our community in terms of human health, economics, ecological and aesthetic benefits. With the ongoing and future development on campus – TTC and PanAm Stadium – we can expect a negative impact on our urban forests, tress and wild animals. CSBO will be challenged to conserve and improve the present forests as requested by Mr. GH.

I am a student in the Master of Forest Conservation program at U or Toronto and have been doing my internship with SCBO for the past three months. In summary, my work was to assess to quality and quantity of urban trees on the Keele campus as part of what will become an overall Urban Forest Strategy.

Mr. GH is a Groundhog (Marmota monax) and I do not know how big his population is. Actually, I do not even know if Mr. GH is “He” or “She” or why GH is building an underground system around the campus Austrian pines and Oaks. That brings opportunity for biological research and an opportunity to engage students and staff with the need to conserve the natural infrastructure in Keele campus. I hope my internship’s results will be a step closer to attend Mr. GH request. Understanding the forest structure and functions are essential knowledge for the design of a sustainable Urban Forest Strategy.

I want to express my sincere thanks to all the CSBO staff for eat support I received enabling me to complete my work. I met some wonderful people and got to see what York is really like from the inside. I will always remember my summer with fond memories.

Leopoldo Rocca

Master of Forest Conservation student

University of Toronto – Faculty of Forestry

Posted in: Blogs | Graduated & Greening