The Urban Forest Lab was established by Tropos in 2021 as a space for generating new and innovative approaches to conservation in urban areas. As an interdisciplinary initiative, the work builds on issues of landscape practice to bridge art and science. As a creative think-tank, the Urban Forest Lab fosters new approaches to creative engagement, ecology, and social practice that enhance the urban forest.
Building Conservation Networks is a creative urban design and public art project conceived by Lesia Mokrycke in 2018 that identifies historic, monumental trees as key anchors in the ecological and cultural life of the city. This large-scale art and urban design project presents a strategy for restoration that re-imagines conservation as a series of networks to enhance the urban forest. These landmark, Monument trees contain hidden information in their roots that give us clues about times past and can nurture new saplings to foster stronger and more resilient urban forests. Through mapping the location of these pre-settlement trees across the city, The Urban Forest Lab is laying the groundwork to create ecological infrastructure that can withstand coming changes in the climate.
Author and Artist - Lesia Mokrycke
Sponsor - We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts / Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien
Community Partner and Indigenous Specialist - Paul General, Former Head of Six Nations Eco-Centre
Studio Assistants - Mae Garcia, Alex Li, Elizabeth Ward, Sophie Williams
Special Thanks - Cathy Plotz at Hamilton Conservation Authority; Kathy Renwald with CBC Hamilton; City of Hamilton Culture and Heritage Department; Hamilton Culture & Tourism / Hamilton Civic Museums; McMaster University, Dept of History; CFMU; CityLAB; University of Toronto, Dept of Environment; Rebecca Rathbone; Hamilton City Magazine; Downtown AM Rotary Club of Hamilton; Our Forest; Downtown Sparrow; Justin Chandler at TVO; Hamilton Naturalists Club; Education department at RBG; and each member of the Hamilton community who has contributed a tree to this project.