QUICK LINKS

 

    DOWNLOAD MAP 

 

             GO TO WEBSITE 

 

CITY OF TORONTO HIGH PARK PAGE 

 

TO RECEIVE EMAILS about High Park nature and stewardship events, contact mail@highparknature.org

TO VOLUNTEER contact stewards@highparknature.org or just come to an event

 

HIGH PARK NATURE

 

HIGH PARK STEWARDS

    

 

HIGH PARK NATURE is a joint project of the High Park Natural Environment Committee and High Park Stewards. We welcome your feedback, suggestions, articles and photos. Please contact us at mail@highparknature.org

ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Most of the photos on this site were contributed by local photographers and taken in High Park. Please do not copy or reproduce them without permission. If you would like to contribute photos (low resolution) for this website, please contact us at mail@highparknature.org

  HPNature is a member of Ontario's Nature Network


Custodians:

Volunteer Opportunities 

High Park Stewards – 2014 Sessions

 

High Park Stewards meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

Directions

 

Buckthorn Busting 1-2-3 - Sunday Oct. 26, Nov. 9 and Nov. 23

Our last 3 sessions of the year are Buckthorn Busting. On November 23 it will be followed by a  pot-luck lunch.

Please meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 am. We will go to our site from there so please try to come on time.

We will also have a small group working on the Boulevard Beds on Nov. 9.

The annual pot-luck lunch will be made easier if when you receive the invite you check messages feature. This way we can all tell what is needed based on the replies. If in doubt, don't worry about it, bring something you would like to share. Since there is only one small microwave, items that can be served cold or at room temperature are preferred. If you have any suggestions on improving our program we can share that too. All Stewards are invited.

More on Buckthorn: This highly invasive shrub forms dense even-aged thickets that often cause an overall reduction in the establishment of shade tolerant native shrubs and herbs. It rapidly produces seeds early in the season that are highly viable and germinate quickly.

European Buckthorn on Invasive Plants Atlas and European Buckthorn (pdf) and HPN Invasive Plants

Also see 2013 Sessions for photos of previous Buckthorn sessions. Full Celebrations Invite


No session on Thanksgiving weekend (Oct. 12)


Seed Collecting and Fence Building - Sunday, September 28

We will be collecting seeds from native plants that will be used for our own program and in other parks in the city. We will be working in the native plant nursery and trying to finish our fence building project in the Boulevard Beds at the edge of the Grenadier Restaurant.

Some of the later summer flowers may still be flowering including Black-Eyed Susan, Cup Plant, Woodland Sunflower, Verbena and there is a beautiful display of grasses like Big and Bittle Bluestem, Goldenrod and Asters (esp. Sky Blue and New England)

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 am. and we will go together to the site. A small group may also be working on the Boulevard Beds. We meet rain or shine, but not during lightning storms.

Although we have removed a lot of it, if you are allergic to ragweed, please take an anti-histamine before the session.

We are working outside and you need to keep yourself safe and healthy. Please wear long pants, long sleeves. Wear shoes and socks, not sandals. Seeds can easily stick to non smooth fabrics so avoid fleece. Bring water, a hat, sunblock and a snack to keep your energy up. Gloves and tools will be provided.

Also see:

 
Chris is collecting seeds from Big Bluestem
September 23, 2012
The Nursery is like an enchanted woodland
August 2009

Fall Planting - Sunday, September 14

We will have a fall planting in one of our restoration sites in the park. The site is yet to be determined. This is an excellent time to plant native wildflowers.

This is the time of year when many savannah plants are at their peak.

Some of the later summer flowers are coming up now including Black-Eyed Susan, Cup Plant, Woodland Sunflower, Verbena and there is a beautiful display of grasses like Big and Bittle Bluestem. Goldenrod and Asters (esp. Sky Blue and New England) are also beginning to bloom.

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 am. and we will go together to the site. A small group may also be working on the Boulevard Beds. We meet rain or shine, but not during lightning storms.

Although we have removed a lot of it, if you are allergic to ragweed, please take an anti-histamine before the session.

We are working outside and you need to keep yourself safe and healthy. Although planting is more "friendly" than invasive species removal, there still may be ants and bees, thorns and plants that can irritate the skin. Please wear long pants, long sleeves. Wear shoes and socks, not sandals. Seeds can easily stick to non smooth fabrics so avoid fleece. Bring water, a hat, sunblock and a snack to keep your energy up. Gloves and tools will be provided.

Also see:


Boulevard Beds and Nursery Maintenance - Sunday, August 24

10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Anyone interested in joining us is welcome to meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 and we will go to our locations from there.

For your protection, please dress with long sleeves and pants, closed shoes and socks, a hat and bring water and sunscreen. We will supply tools and gloves.

We will meet in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30am, rain or shine (but not during thunderstorms).

Celebrations invitation to this session

There is a lot of work to be done in the Native Plant Nursery and in the Boulevard Beds but we don't know yet what our session will entail. There is seed collecting, weeding, and perhaps transplanting, all depending on what needs to be done and the weather.

Henny Markus is redesigning and leading us in transforming the Boulevard Beds. They need weeding, fence building if materials are available and possibly planting.

Restoration Site Maintenance (Weeding #1-6)

May 25, June 8, June 22, July 13, July 27, August 10

10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Anyone interested in joining us is welcome to meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 and we will go to the site from there. For your protection, please dress as per the photo below, long sleeves and pants, closed shoes and socks, a hat and bring water and sunscreen. We will supply tools and gloves. Celebrations invitation to this session

Maintenance aka weeding is as important as planting and equally rewarding. Once the weeds are removed the native plants have room to grow, display their beauty and do their work providing food and shelter for wildlife.

We will be working in one of our restoration sites weeding and monitoring the growth of native plants in the site.

We have a number of restoration areas where work has been going on for a number of years, including the Sculpure Garden site, the All-Star site and The Tablelands (behind the Grenadier Restaurant).

The main suspects in High Park are Garlic Mustard, Hedge Parsley, Himalayan Balsam, Oriental Bittersweet, Ragweed, Sweet White Clover, Queen Anne's Lace, Motherwort, Burdock etc. Dog Strangling Vine is being handled by Urban Forestry.

It is really amazing how a few people can make such a difference in one morning.

For more information on Restoration work see Planting Native Species and Ecological Restoration. Of course there is also the ever-popular Invasive Plant Species

On the updated Ontario noxious weed list are: common barberry, dog-strangling vine, European buckthorn, bull thistle, Canada thistle, wild carrot, Colt’s foot dodder, goat’s beard, Johnson grass, knapweed, nodding thistle, poison hemlock, poison ivy, proso millet, ragweed, yellow rocket, Russian thistle, Scotch thistle, sow thistle, cypress spurge, leafy spurge, tuberous vetchling, giant hogweed.

 
Himalayan Balsam - After
July 27, 2014
Himalayan Balsam - Before
July 27, 2014
 

On July 27, 2014 we worked in the Sculpture Garden site removing Tall White Clover. After we finished we removed a large patch of Himalayan Balsam in the area in front of the SG site. In one half hour, after removing the HB we found it was full of Garlic Mustard rosettes, eager for the sunlight we provided. In a "2 is better than 1" plan, we placed the huge mound of pulled Himalayan Balsam on top of the Garlic Mustard. We will come back in spring and monitor if this approach was successful. Note: Unfortunately, the garlic mustard was growing back within 3 weeks. On the plus side, if we continue to clear and plant here, within a year or two they should both be gone.


Spring Planting - Sunday, June 8

10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Give yourself extra time: Line 1- Yonge-University-Spadina - Subway closure from St George to Union to Bloor-Yonge, shuttle busses will be running. www.ttc.ca

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 am. Tools provided. Please bring water, a hat, and cover your arms and legs. Please wear socks and closed shoes as well. Full Celebrations Invite

We have a number of restoration sites, mostly near the Tablelands that we have worked on recently but the specific location of this planting is not yet available. The mystery will be solved when you arrive.

UPDATE

Our group planted 753 grasses and 476 forbes for a total of 1,229 plants in Area #10 near Bloor St. in 2 hours on June 8. Way to Go!

 
First planting in Site 10
June 8, 2012
Plants originate in the Native Plant Greenhouse
June 8, 2012
Wild Lupines are great pollinator plants
Watch for them now in the TableLands
Planting in the Tablelands
June 2013
 

Native Plant Sale Update

Our 2014 Native Plant Sale was the best ever. Thanks to our supporters, 1400 plants found wonderful new homes and we raised enough funds for another year of High Park Stewards programs and habitat restoration.

Many thanks to our volunteers Tanya, Linda, Mary, Rae, Sharon, Aaron, Scott, Lisa, Alexandrina, Amanda, Corey, Daniel, David, Jamie, Julie, Lynn, Gloria,Alex and Alex, Katie, Debbie, Monica, and Jennifer. Also thanks to our city staff Jocie, Shane and John.

If you helped with the sale and did not receive a thank you, please email stewards@highparknature.org.

Native Plant Sale page with more photos and plant handout

Garlic Mustard Busting - Sunday, May 25

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

The High Park Stewards have been removing Garlic Mustard from a number of sites within the park for many years. Protocols on how best to control GM are changing all the time and we are always upgrading our skills.

We are able to notice a real positive effect from our work but there is still lots to do.

As many people as possible are needed as there is no end of this plant in High Park. Full Pingg Invite

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 am. Tools provided. Please bring water, a hat, and cover your arms and legs.

The Elite Squad will continue working on garlic mustard and hedge parsley control on Sun and Tues mornings, from late April to mid June, and in the fall, during Sept and Oct.

Contact InvasiveSquad@highparknature.org if you would like to be an Elite. (unlike our regular Stewards program, the Elite Squad need to commit to regular attendance at these sessions)

The Biodiversity and Education Awareness Network BEAN has excellent information on keeping this species from further damaging our forests.

Also see:

 

 

Garlic Mustard is an extremely aggressive invasive plant in woodland areas. Not only does it crowd out almost every other type of plant but is has an allopathic agent that hinders their growth. Once removed native species can be planted to restore some biodiversity. Areas where GM has been removed need to be monitored and tended for at least 5 years as there is a strong seedbank and root system left behind.

Celandine is also removed at this time
a pretty but also invasive plant that accompanies GM
Garlic Mustard
yes, it does smell like garlic and mustard
 

 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Restoration Site Maintenance

View Celebrations invitation

10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Please meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant and we will direct you to our work site.

We had an excellent turnout for our last session in the Nursery. This time we will be cleaning up and uncovering plants in our restoration sites. These include the Boulevard Beds, The Tablelands, The Sculpture Garden and the All-Star sites. map of Restoration Sites and Plant List (pdf) We will also be monitoring what native plants are coming up and determining if there are any invasive species in the area that will need removal.

All tools will be provided, but dress in layers as the temperature is unpredictable.

Please bring anything you may wish to drink or snack on with you as there is no kitchen available.

Native plants awaken in the Boulevard Beds
April 22, 2012
April Stewards 2012
See what we can do this year
 
April Stewards 2011
Everyone can help out
Garlic Mustard is an early riser
April 14, 2013 in the Nursery
 

 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Native Plant Nursery Cleanup

View Celebrations invitation

10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

You may go directly to the Nursery if you know where it is or else meet some of us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant and we will direct you.

It's time to uncover the plants in the Nursery and remove some of the dead stalks from the Boulevards Beds and let the sunshine in. It's been a later spring than in the last few years, but perhaps we can see some of the spring ephemerals including Skunk Cabbage, Blood Root and May Apple as well as discover what other plants survived the winter.

All tools will be provided, but dress in layers as the temperature is unpredictable.

Please bring anything you may wish to drink or snack on with you as there is no kitchen available.

Uncover native plants in the Nursery
Let's get Spring underway
There's lots of raking and "de-mulching" to do
Find out what we will have for planting and our sale
 

 

THIS SESSION – IS FOR CORE STEWARDS!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Transplanting in the Greenhouse

for Core Stewards by invitation

View PINGG invitation

Directions

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

High Park Greenhouse, Greenhouse Road

RSPV to invitation is required as space is limited.

Greenhouse work is very popular, but due to space limitations we must restrict the number of participants to those who have braved the elements and assisted in planting, invasive species removal, at our native plant sale, or are working on special projects or activities, in thanks for helping out during the past year.

If you should have but do not receive an invitation by March 16, please contact stewards@highparknature.org.

It's finally time to transplant the seedlings that have been growing over the winter. These will be used for plantings in different parks and for our native plant sale. Due to the cold weather please meet us in the main greenhouse first and we will go to the cold frame if necessary. All tools will be provided, but dress in layers as the temperature is unpredictable.

Please bring anything you may wish to drink or snack on with you as there is no kitchen available.

 

For more information on planting for restoration projects. See page 20 in particular for growing techniques: - Planting the Seed (pdf) Environment Canada

Getting a jump on spring
Some of these plants may be available at our native plant sale
Repotting the new seedlings
These are started early from seeds collected in the park
 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Once and Future Great Lakes Country

with John Riley, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Chief Science Officer and National Director of Conservation Operations

View Celebrations invitation

Directions

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm - PLEASE SET CLOCKS AHEAD 1 HOUR ON SATURDAY NIGHT FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

The first light S. of Bloor from Keele. It's the brown building in the back. Please enter via the bottom door.

A new book by Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Chief Science Officer and National Director of Conservation Operations, John Riley, presents a detailed accounting of the geologic, natural and human history of the Great Lakes Region – an area that, according to Riley, “now supports a population of more than forty-five million and a shared annual economy of more than $1 trillion. It is a place that is open to the continent, and now to the world, more of a crossroads than anything separate or insular.”

More Book info

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Using Permaculture Principles in the Community

with Jane Hayes, Director, Garden Jane

View PINGG invitation

Directions

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

The first light S. of Bloor from Keele. It's the brown building in the back. Please enter via the bottom door.

How can permaculture's nature-based approach inform us as individuals and as environmental stewards? Learn key Permaculture Principles and how they can be used to engage people for environmental, social and personal well-being.

Permaculture can be understood as planning, designing, building (or co-creating) sustainable systems, from food to water, buildlings, to transportation, to cities. But, moreover, permaculture is about how all those systems work together in harmony.

Jane Hayes, Masters in Environmental Studies (York U), Director, Garden Jane. Her current work includes working with garden communities of all ages, teaching permaculture design and helping grow the scope of urban agriculture in the GTA. Her accomplishments include establishing the City of Toronto Children's Garden Program and High Park Children's Garden. Garden Jane

High Park Children's Garden
Photo: Jane Hayes
Permaculture Principles Clothesline
photo: Jane Hayes
 

NEXT SESSION – FOR CORE STEWARDS!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Seed Cleaning in the Nursery

for Core Stewards by invitation

View PINGG invitation

Directions

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

High Park Greenhouse, Greenhouse Road

Seed Cleaning in the Greenhouse is very popular, but due to space limitations we must restrict the number of participants to those who have braved the elements and assisted in planting, invasive species removal, at our native plant sale, or are a core member working on special projects as a special activity in thanks for helping out during the past year.

RSPV to invitation is required as space is limited. If you have planted or removed invasive species with the Stewards in the past year and do not receive an invitation by Feb. 3, please contact stewards@highparknature.org.

Seed Cleaning is the separation of the usually tiny seeds from the dried flower heads, collected in High Park in the last year. Planting these separated seeds has proven to be very successful in cultivating as many rare and limited back oak savannah plants as possible.

 

For more information on using seeds in restoration projects. See page 23 in particular for seed cleaning: - Planting the Seed (pdf) Environment Canada

Seeds collected last year are ready to be cleaned
Greenhouse, Winter 2013
Separating the seeds from the flower pod/head
It's low tech hands-on work separating seeds from pods
 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Environmental Stewards, the Next Generation, University

with Dr. Sandy Smith, Prof. Faculty of Forestry, U of T

View PINGG invitation

Directions

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

The first light S. of Bloor from Keele. It's the brown building in the back. Please enter via the bottom door.

Dr. Sandy Smith is a professor of Urban Forestry at the University of Toronto. Her areas of expertise are in forest entomology, biological control, biodiversity indices, and insect behaviour. She will share her experiences in this developing field as a researcher and as a teacher.

We also invite all of our University volunteers to come and discuss the programs they are currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from.

 
There's lots to learn and discover
Old and new technology are all useful
We have some very dedicated student volunteers
Buckthorn Busting November 2013
 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Environmental Stewards, the Next Generation, EcoSchools

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

The first light S. of Bloor from Keele. It's the brown building in the back. Please enter via the bottom door.

Erin Wood, EcoSchools Specialist at the Toronto District School Board, will outline the key components of the EcoSchools program and environmental initiatives that are being undertaken at the board.

Roberto LiVolsi, teacher at Mountview Alternative School, will describe how staff, parents and students are working together, on many different levels, to bring awareness to environmental issues and to see the future as full of great opportunity for our students, who embody the vision of a united community, thinking and acting deeply for the planet..

 

Ontario EcoSchools Program and TDSB EcoSchools and Mountview Alternative School

PRESENTATIONS:

Ontario EcoSchools Program and TDSB EcoSchools and Mountview Alternative School

EcoSchools Presentation January 12, 2014 and Mountview School Presentation January 12, 2014

It's never to early to start protecting nature
Tablelands planting June 2013
Stewardship can be part of high school volunteer work
Tablelands planting Sept 2013
 

hosted by canadianwebhosting.ca | powered by pmwiki-2.2.44
Content last modified on December 30, 2014, at 01:51 AM EST