Walking Tour of the Sherwood Fox Arboretum

Thursday May 21, from noon to 1:00 p.m.

Join Dr. Greg Thorn, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, and curator of the Dr. Laurie L. Consaul Herbarium for a walk around the inner campus. Learn about former university president Sherwood Fox and how his love of trees determined the way Western looks today. Dr. Thorn will also discuss the role of the Sherwood Fox Arboretum’s role in habitat restoration and the planting of native tree species. Meet at the McIntosh Gallery's red doors at 12:00 p.m.

Greg Thorn grew up in London, Ontario and became interested in natural history through gardening and the local McIlwraith Field Naturalists group (now Nature London). As a naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park, he gave tours about birds, trees, wildflowers and mushrooms. Graduate studies at the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto were followed by positions in Japan, Michigan, Indiana and Wyoming. He returned to London for a faculty position with Western’s Department of Biology, where he teaches biodiversity, plant evolution, field botany, and mycology. His research is focused on the ecology and diversity of fungi.

About the Sherwood Fox Arboretum:
In 1981, then President of Western Dr. George Connell designated all the trees in the manicured areas of campus as the Sherwood Fox Arboretum. Dr. James B. Phipps, professor in the Plant Sciences Department and curator of the UWO Herbarium, was instrumental in getting the arboretum officially recognized and was appointed as the arboretum's first director. However, the history of the plantings on Western’s campus go back to the early days of the university, when it moved to what had been the farm of the Kingsmill family, whose house overlooked the river where Middlesex College now stands. As additional lands and buildings were added, the landscape was designed in the style of an English landscape garden by landscape architect Gordon Culham, formerly of the Frederick Law Olmsted firm. Dr. Sherwood Fox, who was professor of Arts from 1917, dean of Arts from 1919, and president from 1928 to 1947, was a great lover of trees and took an active role in overseeing the landscaping of Western’s campus. The current arboretum’s holdings include over 4,000 planted trees of 350 species. Our recent focus is to increase our plantings of trees native to southwestern Ontario, in an effort to sustain and increase Western’s biodiversity. The arboretum is managed by Michael Lunau, Western’s Manager of Landscape Services. Dr. Greg Thorn, Curator of the Dr. Laurie L. Consaul Herbarium (UWO), provides scientific guidance and mapping and databasing of the arboretum plantings.