High Park Stewards Summary 2020

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we were limited to holding only 5 of the usual 13 sessions between August and November with a maximum of 8 participants per session. This resulted in 37 participants who came out to High Park Stewards field restoration events. Together Stewards contributed 75 field hours!

Enjoy the photo report from the 2020 on-site sessions  prepared by Jaclyn Scobie, our Urban Forestry Program Officer (9mb pdf)

Here are many online videos and other resources to keep you informed and prepare for a new year of stewardship, either on-site or in your own home. There are also many plant lists to help you select what would work in your own gardens.

Sept 27 2020 Planting photo: Jaclyn Scobie

At-Home Resources

While events were suspended, High Park Stewards had the opportunity to explore some at-home resource packages created by our Urban Forestry Parks Program Officer Jaclyn Scobie. Nature-related instructional activities, links to online educational videos, and self-care activities and resources can all be explored by Stewards from the comfort of their homes.

Recorded on-line Winter Speaker sessions

There are several of our 2019 on-line presentations that are available for on-demand access. Weird and Wonderful Plants with Heather Jerrard and Project Swallowtail, a collaborative effort to connect communities street by street and empower residents to restore nature in west Toronto. In addition, Project Swallowtail has a series of recordings on a variety of native plant gardening topics available through the Pollinator Partnership youtube channel.

Invasive Species

  • Invasive Species Tackled Included:
    • Japanese Hedge Parsley
    • European Buckthorn
    • Burning Bush
    • Tartarian Honeysuckle
    • Norway Maple
  • Area Managed for Invasive Species over 3 sessions: approx. 6,700m²


  • Spring Planting on the Tablelands was cancelled.
  • Fall Planting on Tablelands: 687 Native Plants over 2 sessions
    • 5 species of shrubs
    • 6 species of grasses
    • 19 species of forbs
  • Most Planted:
    • Shrub: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
    • Grass/Sedge: Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)
    • Forb (flowers): Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Seed Collecting

Collected seed is stored and propagated at the High Park Greenhouse/Nursery. Greenhouse staff often run seed cleaning and seed planting events with High Park Stewards. Once the seeds have grown into seedlings, they are planted back into High Park’s Environmentally Significant Areas at High Park Stewards planting events.
We collected:

  • Big Bluestem
  • Little Bluestem
  • Canada Wild Rye
  • Indian Grass
  • Wild Bergamot
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Showy Tick Trefoil (on our clothes…)

Boulevard Beds

Under the leadership of Mary Cole, a small group of High Park Stewards have continued to tidy and weed the Boulevard Beds from June 2020 onward, usually working for an hour each week. The native plants have done well this year and we have seen many pollinators visiting the plants. In early October, we were given 200 native perennials to plant in the Boulevard Beds. These plants, grown in the High Park native plant greenhouse, come from seed previously harvested in High Park. The grasses, flowering shrubs and perennials have been placed in newly weeded and empty areas of the beds. Many thanks to city staff Donna Costanzo and Patricia Landry for making the planting possible.

South Boulevard Bed, autumn 2020. Photo: Mary Cole
Map of Restoration sites 2020










Trees + Shrubs



Wetland Plants

Invasive Plants