Research Activities and Partnerships


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Engagement & Research Programs →

Since 2014, the Engagement and Research unit at Tree Canada has enhanced our efforts to reach communities, creating opportunities for knowledge sharing, community building, and thought leadership by working with diverse national and international partners.

What we do?

  • We support and collaborate on innovative research in urban and community forestry by partnering with academia, industry and government groups.
  • We engage in a variety of projects that contend with timely themes and investigations in urban forestry in both applied and social areas of interest.
  • We serve and improve internal needs, such as enhancing program performance.
How City Trees Support Human Health (2020)

How do we contribute?

  • Studies and projects with external partners (e.g., research design, analysis, writing, reviews)
  • Writing and collaborating on publications and reports (e.g., directed at peer-reviewed journals, or less formal articles)
  • Design of impact reports, goals and inquiries (e.g., qualitative application/interview questions)

To request a letter of support for a research project, please visit our Support Request page.

Research Contributions:

National Stewardship Mapping for Urban Forests in Canada

Goal: To understand and document urban forest stewardship groups and their activities within a region.
Partners: Canadian Forest Service, University of Toronto
Description: This project is a pilot study of one area, focussing on a larger municipality with active stewardship groups, with the intention of eventually compiling details across Canada, pending funding.
Year started: 2021

Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion in Environmental and Tree Planting Programs

Goal: To develop metrics and measures for outreach to under-represented audiences and communities.
Partner: Western University
Description: This study offers recommendations to better engage under-served communities within Tree Canada’s tree planting grant programs.
Year started: 2021
Citation: Owens, S, Palmer, L., & Tejada, R. (2021). Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion in Environmental and Tree Planting Programs. Western University, New Roots Consulting Group. Internal report. 79 pp.

The Impact of the Edible Trees Program on Social Cohesion

Goal: To determine the extent to which the Edible Trees program contributed to social inclusion and mental health and; To determine whether a community of practice was viewed as a viable and useful opportunity.
Partners: Laval University
Description: This project examines the needs and ongoing support required of organizations implementing edible gardens, trees and food forests.
Year started: 2020

Training the future leaders in urban forestry (UFOR)

Goal: To create a novel Canada-wide inter-university and interdisciplinary graduate training program in urban forestry science.
Partners: Université du Québec en Outaouais, Université du Québec à Montréal, Laval University, University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, University of British Columbia)
Description: This training program aims to increase the supply of highly-qualified professionals and leaders who can manage urban forests in novel urban ecosystems that are shaped by complex socio-cultural and economic conditions. The program is centered on creating a national network of academics and partners who have stake in urban forest training and professional development, and those who can offer training or internships to students.
Year started: 2019

Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector National Action Plan Initiative

Goal: To achieve gender equality and meaningful inclusion of women, Indigenous peoples, and new Canadians in the forest sector.
Partners: Canadian Institute of Forestry, Centre for Social Intelligence
Description: This initiative supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of women, Indigenous and new Canadians, at all levels from technical to executive level positions, in Canada’s diverse and dynamic forest sector.
Year started: 2019
URL: https://www.freetogrowinforestry.ca 

Tree Canada: Improving our National Greening Program to better support Indigenous Communities

Goal: To improve program delivery measures for Tree Canada’s NGP, and more effectively engage with Indigenous communities.
Description: This was an internal study conducted to examine our metrics and improve program delivery and engagement strategies.
Year started: 2020
Citation: Brant, A., Dumont, M., & Bardekjian, A. (2020). Tree Canada: Improving our National Greening Program to better support Indigenous Communities – Results of current study and proposed future directions. Internal Report. 16 pp.

Green Spaces and Places: An Impact Evaluation of Tree Canada’s Edible Trees Program

Goal: To evaluate the impact of Tree Canada’s Edible Trees Program in order to assess the perceptions of the recipients of the grants, as well as the environmental and social impacts of the program.
Partners: Carleton University
Description: This study offers a comprehensive evaluation of Tree Canada’s Edible Trees Program, including recommendations for program improvement.
Year started: 2019
Citation: Grenier, E., Hopper, J., Keogh, M., & Paskewitz, M. (2019). Green Spaces and Places: An Impact Evaluation of Tree Canada’s Edible Trees Program. Capstone project. Carleton University.

Urban Forestry in Indigenous Communities across Canada: Exploring the Impact of Greening Initiatives

Goal: To better understand the needs and interests of Indigenous communities in relation to urban forestry.
Partners: Canadian Forest Service
Description: A primary goal of this research was to collect anonymous suggestions on how to improve program outreach and delivery to encourage more participation from interested Indigenous groups. The results of this study identified recommendations around urban forest-related operations and research, policy implementation and stakeholder engagement for Tree Canada.
Year started: 2018
Citation: Gosselin-Hebert, A., Bardekjian, A., Quann, S. & Crossman, V. (2018). Urban forestry in Indigenous communities across Canada: Exploring the impact of greening initiatives. Internal report Canadian Forest Service and Tree Canada.

Canada’s Urban Forestry Footprint: Mapping the extent and intensity of urban forestry activities

Goal: To identify communities across Canada conducting urban forest activities.
Partners: University of Toronto with support from MITACS
Description: This study profiles and maps the communities across Canada that have urban forestry departments, management plans, and tree protection bylaws.
Year started: 2018
Citation: Puric-Mladenovic, D., Yung, Y., & Bardekjian, A. (2018). Canada’s Urban Forestry Footprint: Mapping the extent and intensity of urban forestry activities.

The Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Goal: To provide a web-based resource, which outlines for municipalities, residents and elected officials some of the components, technical standards and examples of a municipally-based urban forest program.
Partner: Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Description: The Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices outlines some of the best components and technical standards of a strategic urban forest management program. This resource is continually updated internally, and with crowd-sourced submissions from our network.
Year started: 2006, revised 2018
Citation: Bardekjian, A. (2018). Compendium of best urban forest management practices. Second Edition. Originally commissioned to Tree Canada by Natural Resources Canada.

Canadian Urban Forest Network: Member motivations

Goal: To better understand the composition of the Canadian Urban Forest Network members, their needs, interests and expectations.
Description: In 2017, the CUFN Steering Committee conducted a survey of the membership – this report presents a summary of those results.
Year started: 2017
Citation: Bardekjian, A. & Chiriac, G. (2018). Interests and expectations: Results of the Canadian Urban Forest Network member survey. Tree Canada: Ottawa, ON.

Urban Trees and Human Health: A Scoping Review

Goal: To review all peer-reviewed literature related to urban trees and human health.
Partners: University of Washington, University of British Columbia, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada
Description: This study is the first systematic review to focus on urban trees (rather than broader greenspaces, corridors and parks) as a beneficial source for human health and wellbeing.
Year started: 2019
Citation: Wolf, K., Lam, S., McKeen, J., Richardson, G., van den Bosch, M., & Bardekjian, A. (2020). Urban Trees and Human Health: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17, 4371.

The Arboriculture Sector Partnership Planning Project

Goal: To identify the barriers and issues that prevent people from pursuing employment opportunities in the field of arboriculture in Ontario.
Partners: The Career Foundation, International Society of Arboriculture Ontario Chapter, Ontario Commercial Arborists Association, and industry partners.
Description: This study aims to increase recruitment
Year started: 2017
Citation: The Career Foundation (2017). The Arboriculture Sector Partnership Planning Project. Funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). Acted as Advising Research Consultant.

Do Rainbows Come in Green? Urban Forests and Multicultural Citizenship

Goal: To foster interdisciplinary knowledge exchange between international participants.
Partners: Peter Wall Institute for Advance Studies, Faculty of Forestry, SSHRC (Connection Grant), University of British Columbia
Description: A three-day International Research Roundtable was held at the PWIAS premises, UBC Vancouver during 23-25 October 2017. The Roundtable addressed the issue of how changing and diversifying urban populations in Canada (and across the globe) view, use, benefit from, and impact urban forests.
Year: 2017

The State of Canada’s Municipal Forests (2 studies)

Goal: To capture the details of municipal urban forest management across Canada.
Partner: Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Description: These studies offer insights to municipal forestry practices, inventory systems, canopy cover, bylaws, budgets and social considerations. Results showed areas in need of attention with respect to capacity, bylaws, canopy cover and research
Year started: 2015
Citations: Bardekjian, A., Kenney, A., & Rosen, M. (2016). Trends in Canada’s Urban Forests. Tree Canada and the Canadian Urban Forest Network. Ottawa, ON.

Bardekjian, A. & Rosen, M. (2015). Canada’s urban forest: A national assessment of municipal urban forest management needs. Commissioned to Tree Canada by the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada.

Urban forestry research needs identified by Canadian municipalities

Goal: To determine the urban forestry research needs of Canadian municipalities of 5,000 or more inhabitants and to determine if these needs are influenced by the size of cities, the region, or the canopy.
Partners: Laval University, Natural Resources Canada
Description: From 192 responses across 167 municipalities of 5,000 inhabitants or more, this study offers insights into cities urban forest management structures, expectations and research needs in applied and social contexts.
Year started: 2014
Citation: Larouche, J., Rioux, D., Bardekjian, A., & Gélinas, N. (2021). Urban forestry research needs identified by Canadian municipalities. The Forestry Chronicle. 2(97)

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