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To provide Ottawa children and their families with the opportunity to participate in an Apple tree themed citizen science project, and in doing so learn about agriculture, experience the scientific process, feel joy and wonder of growing tees from city and engage with other members of the community (virtually)

BigHairy Audacious Goal

In the spring of 2021, this new community will plant their young apple trees, creating the “Ottawa Virtual Apple Orchard”, providing the city with a positive and long lasting symbol of what can be achieved during difficult times (COVID-19) with good science and teamwork.  In the process increase the communities' awareness, skills and interest in growing fruit trees.

Core Values

  • The scientific process is important
  • Learning about science and agriculture can be fun and engaging
  • Everyone, regardless or age and financial situation, should have the opportunity to participate and learn
  • Science and learning are more fun when done as a team

Actions (to live values)

  • To promote inclusivity we have designed a citizen science project that requires no prior research experience and minimal costs
  • To promote success we have developed and tested instructions to guide the children and families
  • To assist with data collection we have designed a simple to use form (website and paper copies)
  • To promote community engagement and discussion we will design a website where participants can upload their data and pictures and view observations submitted by other citizens

Key SHORT TERM initiatives

  • Create a guide to help participating citizen scientists and budding arborists to successfully navigate growing one or more apple trees.
  • Create a collection form that allows participants to track and share their observations
  • Promote the opportunity through both social media and local media (e.g. Ottawa citizen, radio)
  •  Develop a forum where participants can ask questions, and answers are made available.

Key LONG TERM initiatives

  • In the Spring of 2021, the Orchard participants plant surviving trees in either their own yard or one of three participating farms in the East, South and West ends
  • Individual citizen scientists and schools will be able, through a combination of technology (online courses) and hands on workshops (at Farmgate) to learn about organic tree and orchard management.


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