On September 28, TD Bank Group announced it will contribute $1 million to UTSC to promote research and teaching efforts in the areas of urban forest conservation and biology.
According to a UTSC press release, the grant will fund undergraduate and graduate research scholarships and help establish a TD limited-term professorship in urban forest conservation and biology.
“We’re grateful to TD for this generous gift and excited by the potential to push the boundaries of our understanding of the natural environment with Canada’s first national urban park as our lab,” said Professor Franco Vaccarino, principal of UTSC.
The donation will fund UTSC’s continuing research efforts in Rouge Park, an ecological buffer zone that covers over 40 square km. According to an Inside UTSC article published on February 28, 2012, the university officially signed a partnership with Parks Canada in February 2012 to “[transform] the Rouge Valley into Canada’s first national urban park”.
According to Vaccarino, Rouge Park will offer students the opportunity to advance knowledge across areas ranging from groundwater and soil science to geochemistry and geographic information systems.
The donation also helps contribute to UTSC’s goal to raise $35 million to fund student scholarships, international study and work placements, student leadership development, experiential learning, and a visiting scholars program.
In addition, the grant is part of U of T’s $2 billion Boundless campaign.
“We are thrilled to support […] our ongoing commitment to green spaces and urban forestry,” said Alec Morley, senior vice-president of the GTA region of TD Canada Trust.