These items were discussed at the January 2023 meeting of the High Park Natural Environment Committee:
- A prescribed burn tour in November with TRCA, city staff and members of the committee assessed the condition of different of burn sites in the park. The informative tour clearly demonstrated the progression of the sites over time and the need for ongoing maintenance.
- The High Park Stewards, supported by Forestry, completed the final of 12 field events of the 2022 season on November 27 2022. These events included over 15000m2 of invasive species management, planting 1699 native plants in the Tablelands and successfully collecting seeds to be propagated at the High Park Nursery for future stewardship plantings. Your efforts helped to support the short and long-term goals for the prescribed burn and continued restoration of High Park. The field events begin again in May 2023.
- High Park Stewards who tend the Boulevard Beds gardened two to four mornings a month from mid-April through to the end of October for approximately 157 person hours. Their activity included weeding, planting over 200 native plants courtesy of the greenhouse staff, and seed collection. Weeding tools from High Park Nature were gratefully received.
- The High Park On-leash Committee (HPOC) distributed buttons, stickers and two handouts, PNTO and a new brochure, Take the Lead, at a November outreach event held in conjunction with Toronto Animal Services. Promotion of the program continues in the community surrounding High Park, another outreach event is planned in the spring and further efforts are planned to continue to educate dog owners.
- The initial phase of the ESA Consultation, to develop a Toronto ESA Management Plan Framework (ESA: Environmentally Significant Areas), included several NEC members. They flagged a number of concerns including the need for greater emphasis on the ecological function of particular ESAs.
- Plans are underway to reactivate Grenadier Pond Water Sampling in the spring.
- After Purple Martins (a species of concern) nested at three locations around Grenadier Pond this past season, an initiative is underway to replace/enhance nesting sites at the pond in time for their return this spring.
- A comprehensive analysis of the High Park Nature website included topics such as site activity, user flow, and general improvements to the site. Several members of the committee will be working on short and long term changes to improve user experience.
- Committee members are preparing a list of specific suggestions to improve the park to present to city staff.