Every year, numerous research studies and educational programs are conducted in High Park, ranging from elementary and high schools to post-secondary studies and post-graduate theses. For example, see the Vegetation Sampling Protocol study below.
Urban Forestry, City of Toronto, conducts monitoring in High Park on an ongoing basis, including:
Please see the relevant web pages for more details.
Volunteers can make a meaningful contribution to scientific knowledge about High Park by participating in citizen science projects, either on their own or through an organized project.
Here are some examples of ongoing studies taking place in High Park.
To find out how you can contribute, follow the links above or contact High Park Nature.
Our goal is to collect and organize observations within High Park in Toronto, Ontario. This includes all plants, mammals, insects, fungi and any other wild living things you can find.
Help us form an updated inventory of sightings that will aid in future education and research, and help to give us all a better understanding of the diversity and abundance of life within these 399 acres.
City of Toronto Urban Forestry is working in partnership with the University of Toronto's Faculty of Forestry to establish an ecological monitoring program for Toronto's ravines and natural areas.
Monitoring began in 2019 using the Vegetation Sampling Protocol (VSP). This protocol combines proven and widely applied vegetation sampling methods. VSP is currently being used by several municipalities across southern Ontario, strengthening collaboration across multiple agencies.
The comprehensive vegetation monitoring will look at tree, shrub and herbaceous composition within each plot. The establishment of these plot locations will allow for future monitoring and evaluation of ecosystem changes. There are currently 10 VSP sites within High Park with 304 additional sites throughout Toronto.
PHOTO: VEGETATION SAMPLING PROTOCOL IN HIGH PARK, 2019 ©MATT FORSYTHE
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority samples water bodies to test for West Nile virus. Here are the results of a sample taken at Grenadier Pond in June 2012. It was collected with a D-frame net along the bank of the pond. The collection site is near the south-west corner of the pond. There are different ways to collect quantitative samples. This one was a presence/absence type of sample. (It does not comment on the presence/absence of West Nile virus.)
More about TRCA's monitoring programs.
More about West Nile virus status and control measures in Toronto.
Thesis by Christine Tu. Evaluating the Lake Management Approach, Applied Biomanipulation Techniques and Progress in Restoring Ecological Function of Littoral Macrophytes in Grenadier Pond, Canada, 2000
Research project by Maggie Blondeau, McGill University (in progress summer 2022).
Wild Lupine, or Lupinus perennis, is a perennial flowering legume that can be found in Eastern North America, all the way to the American Mid-West. Little is known about this species' ability to reproduce successfully in northern, Canadian populations. My project aims to determine how successful northern populations (including High Park) are at reproducing compared to those near the core of its distribution.
In 2005, a British scientist, Paul F. Whitehead, found a tiny rare tenebrionid beetle, Pentaphyllus testaceus in a dead stump of Black Oak in High Park - the first North American record of a species that is on the Red List in Europe. He reported his findings in the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 27th July, 2007 Vol. 143, a British scientific journal.