Do you have a question or comment about High Park nature or this website? Send it to us and we will do our best to respond to you!
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Can I bike in High Park? Are there cycling trails?
You can bike in the park on roads and paved trails, but riding on dirt trails is not permitted; walk your bike instead. The soil on dirt trails is sensitive to compaction, and many of these trails are narrow, not leaving enough room for both cyclists and walkers.
Is it OK to go foraging in High Park?
Foraging (collecting any kind of plant material) is not permitted in High Park. The injury and removal of plants in public parks, forests and ravines is prohibited by the Toronto Parks Bylaw, Chapter 608. Learn why you should leave what you find in natural areas
Can I or my group do a clean-up in High Park?
Much of High Park is designated as ANSI (Area of Scientific and Natural Interest) and ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Area). That means there can’t be groups of people walking over the restored areas, which would result in compacted soil and other detrimental results. Staying on the paths except under specific conditions and guidance that protects the soft ground is essential to being able to maintain a very rare habitat.
The High Park Stewards occasionally conduct supervised clean-up activities in natural areas. Check the Volunteer Opportunities schedule for details.
Why does the City use so much salt on park sidewalks and roads during the winter?
C, Jan 2014
The amount of salt applied to any given area is dependant on numerous factors such as current ground conditions, current and forecasted weather, available equipment, how a specific park area is used etc. In the end its up to very experienced city staff to use their judgement in determining the amount of salt used. Staff are reminded often that public safety and our responsibility under the property owners liability act take precedence when clearing our roads and walkways.
Salt is the most effective product on the market. Alternative products such as sand, sawdust, pickled salt, calcium chloride, salt brine etc. are all products that parks / city does consider and uses where appropriate. No salt is used on any of the trails or walkways within the dog off-leash area.
We are always mindful of the natural environment and take that into consideration at all times.
[response provided by Parks Operations staff]
If so many oak flowers fall from the trees, how are acorns formed?
M, May 2013
The flowers that fall are the male flowers (catkins). The acorns are formed on tiny female flowers that stay on the tree. READ MORE
About this website
The High Park website helped me a lot when I was working on my project. There are tons of great and detailed information about High Park and it is one of the most informative park websites I have ever seen and found while I was doing my research.
L, May 2013
About a Bee
I'm not much of a naturalist but I thought you might be interested in knowing about a bee I found in the Park last week as it doesn't show up on your website.
I encountered its business end last week during a cherry blossom walk so I researched further afield and found this photo [Augochlora pura]. The colour and size correspond to what I saw and, given that it crawled up a pant leg, it's certainly possible that the one that stung me (and then died) is a burrower of some kind.
G, May 2013
I thought you might be interested in these photos that I took today. I believe it is a Caspian Tern. It was fishing in Grenadier Pond.
S, May 2013
I just wanted to send you some photos of the burn yesterday. Again, it was a really exciting experience. Feel free to use them on the website.
O, April 2013
See also Prescribed Burns
This may seem like a weird question, but we just moved to the area and I’d like to draw bats to our area to help with insect control as our backyard back onto a park and we have a lot of trees etc.
Is this something that can be done? From what I read, there’s a lot at High Park and we’re not very far away. Any insight anyone could give me would be wonderful. Thank you!
M, March 2013
REPLY (provided by High Park Nature Centre):
Great question! We love bats here at the Nature Centre, and we are always excited when others do too.
The best way to attract bats to your yard is to offer them a home. Bats love to roost in attics, roofs, and crevices in buildings, but this behaviour is not ideal for a home-owner. Another option is to build them a home! Bat boxes are ideal habitat for roosting bats. Here are some sites with information on bat boxes and how to build one:
Or, if you would rather purchase one, the Urban Nature Store has many great options: http://www.urbannaturestore.ca/shop/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=11
Bats also do not like flying over open areas as they are more visible to predators, so the more plants and trees in your yard the better. Good luck!
See also Bats
I just read about the trumpet swan in the park. Is it still there? Do you know the number? I'm wondering if it is the same one that was there a few years ago. They will return to the same place.
I will make a point of going down to the pond on Monday and checking it out. I had quite an experience with the one that visited before, so much so that I have become a trumpet swan photographer.
A, March 2013