QUICK LINKS


Custodians:

Volunteer Opportunities 

High Park Stewards – 2012 Sessions

 

See also High Park Stewards


Photos from the High Park Stewards Native Plant Sale SNAP Bloor West, June 6th edition,our June 24th session in the Nursery SNAP Bloor West, August 2 edition and our Sept. 9 planting

Read the High Park Stewards WINTER AND SPRING 2012 NEWSLETTERS AND 2012 BROCHURE

 

 

Many thanks to all of our volunteers who participate in our program.

We've weeded, planted, collected and cleaned seeds, provided a native plant sale, maintained the Boulevard Beds, Sculpture Garden and All-Star sites, removed garlic mustard, hedge parsley, Himalayan Balsam and Buckthorn, and learned and taught each other about the flora and fauna found in the park. We also thank the city staff in Urban Forestry and Horticulture who do this work full time and guide us as we improve our stewardship capabilities. We know that we will have another successful year in 2012 protecting and supporting nature in High Park (and beyond).

These photos are from our planting session on June 10 in Site 10:

During the summer we have cared for this site in a number of ways, especially watering and weeding, including in the adjacent natural area that has been a restoration site for a number of years

First planting in Site 10
June 8, 2012
Plants originate in the Native Plant Greenhouse
June 8, 2012
Weeding in the adjacent site
July 8, 2012
Monitoring growth of transplants
July 22, 2012
Woodland Sunflowers attract pollinators
August 17, 2012
Indian Grass in bloom
August 26, 2012
 

Buckthorn Busters - Rain Doesn't Stop Us!

 

Our first Buckthorn session on October 28 was a bit soggy, but we cleared the area pretty quickly. We had 2 other buckthorn removal sessions on Nov. 11 and 25.

 

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 2011 Sessions for photos of the 2011 Buckthorn sessions.


Buckthorn Busters brave a rainy day
October 28, 2012
The site at the beginning of the session
October 28, 2012
The site at the end of the session
October 28, 2012
No rain and lots of Buckthorn cut down
October 28, 2012

Amy
Buckthorn Buster
Bill
Buckthorn Buster
Bridget
Buckthorn Buster
Chris
Buckthorn Buster
Clare
Buckthorn Buster
Janine
Buckthorn Buster (UF Crew)
Julie
Buckthorn Buster
Kat
Buckthorn Buster
Leslie
Buckthorn Buster
Mary
Buckthorn Buster
Miho
Buckthorn Buster
Tanya
Buckthorn Buster
 

Sunday, October 14 - Mystery Session

YES, WE WORK WHEN IT'S RAINING! (Just not during thunder and lightning)

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. Bring your friends and family. The photos from our last session on September 23 show the variety of work we can do before it's Buckthorn season.

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

Tools and gloves will be provided but please bring sunscreen, a hat, covered shoes and water to drink. Do not wear fleece or anything that seeds might stick to if you don't want extra work afterwards.

Chris is collecting seeds from Big Bluesten
September 23, 2012
Milkweed seeds are built to fly
September 23, 2012
Cardinal Flowers are both in bloom and ready to pick
September 23, 2012
Elyse and Kim are transplanting for next year
September 23, 2012
Showy Tick Trefoil is has very sticky seeds
September 23, 2012
Nadia, Vera and Daria work in the Boulevard Beds
September 23, 2012
 

Sunday, September 23 - Back to the Nursery and Boulevard Beds

There is a lot of work to be done in the Native Plant Nursery and in the Boulevard Beds. We hope to have enough people to work on both areas so bring your friends and family. See below for previous sessions for more photos and details of these special places.

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

Tools and gloves will be provided but please bring sunscreen, a hat, covered shoes and water to drink.

The Nursery is full of beautiful native plants
August 25, 2012
Reviewing the weeds to remove in the B. Beds
August 26, 2012
 

Fall Planting and Picnic - Sunday, September 9

UPDATED LOCATION: - PLANTING IN THE ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND SLOPE

We cleared the slope near the Adventure Playground at the south east end of the park of Himalayan Balsam and other invasives last summer. This time we will be planting there near the new Jamie Bell Playground.

Fall is an excellent time to plant. This year in particular has been very hot and dry, a challenge for our new seedlings which are doing very well. This is a great time to see the native grasses, Big and Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, Panic Grass and Wild Rye among other. Asters and Goldenrods are also coming into their prime.

We will meet in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30. Stewards who are familiar with the site may meet us there but may not start planting until the Restoration Crew arrives. More updates and changes to instructions if necessary will be posted here and sent to those who RSVP Yes or Maybe to our PINGG invitation. Please check back here before coming to the session. See the Adventure Playground site map

Tools and gloves will be provided but please bring sunscreen, a hat, STURDY SHOES and water to drink. Most of the work will be on a slope

Bring your friends and family and a picnic lunch so we can party together after the session.

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground Planting, September 9, 2012

 
 
 

Boulevard Bed Cleanup - Sunday, August 26

The Boulevard Beds surrounding the Grenadier Restaurant are being revamped by landscape designer and Super Steward Henny Markus to include more colourful and diverse native plants throughout the summer. This is a challenge as they need to be very drought resistant and thrive in sandy soil. We hope to do a fall planting, but the greatest need right now is to remove some of the non-native plants and more aggressive goldenrods and sumacs.

Some of the plants that have thrived this difficult summer are still visible. This includes - Grasses: Little Blue Stem, Big Blue Stem and Indian Grass; Shrubs: Serviceberry and Staghorn Sumac. Wildflowers: Heath Aster, Sky Blue Aster, Cup Plant, Verbena, Canadian Goldenrod. Seedheads from Bergamot, Milkweed and Foxglove Beardtongues and hips from Pasture (Smooth Rose) are also plentiful.

We will meet in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30. The Boulevard Beds surround the restaurant parking lot.

See the Boulevard Bed Plant List and background (2003).

Henny Markus sweeping up after last year's session
August 28, 2011
How the Boulevard Beds look this week
August 19, 2012
Milkweed and Heath Aster are currently in bloom
August 19, 2012
Boulevard Bed maintenance session last year
August 28, 2011
This snail is one type of wildlife found here
Sept 12, 2010 and seen on Aug 19, 2012
The Boulevard Beds are in 5 separate sections
August 28, 2011
 

Himalayan Balsam Removal- Sunday, August 12

See Himalayan Balsam and Hedge Parsley for more info and photos on our target plants.

Invasive species removal requires a special type of person who will feel fulfilled by a task that is not very glamorous. It's not enough to just plant things or even water them as well. We actually spend most of the summer and fall removing invasive species as the native plants could otherwise be taken over. This session will be Hijmalayan Balsam Removal.

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 and a group will go from there.

Some people may be sensitive to the plants we are removing and there are often red ants with Himalayan Balsam. Please wear a hat, long sleeves and pants (lightweight of course), sturdy shoes (long socks also help) and bring sunscreen and water.

See Map of Savannah Areas for the location of our restoration areas.

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

Make a difference and come out and "play". The photos are from a variety of sessions.

The "Before" picture from August 14 2011
Jamie Bell Playground area"
The "After" picture from August 14 2011
Jamie Bell Playground
New plants need gentle watering
Many, many watering cans worth are needed
Proper dress for Himalayan Balsam removal
We really want you to be protected
Himalayan Balsam
Pretty and pink but it takes over
The Boulevard Beds Demonstration Garden
Native plants from the Black Oak Savannah''
 

Restoration Site Maintenance - Weeding 202, Sunday, July 22

See Sweet-white Clover and Hedge Parsley for more info and photos on our target plants.

Updated July 18: If the location of our session changes we will update this info here before July 22 so please check back before you arrive. We now expect to be working in The Tablelands (behind the Grenadier Restaurant). Our work will include weeding, (Tall Sweet White Clover, Hedge Parsley) and possibly watering the Boulevard Beds.

Meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 and a group will go from there.

Some people may be sensitive to the plants we are removing. Please wear a hat, long sleeves and pants (lightweight of course), sturdy shoes and bring sunscreen and water.

The drought conditions of the past few months mean that our newly planted site needs to be watered manually. On July 8th our group of 17 finished this task in about an hour and then proceeded to remove Tall Sweet White Clover from the other areas of the site. What a difference a year can make. There was very little there last summer but now it is quite overrun. Under it all were all kinds of native plants that have regenerated naturally and from previous plantings.

Lots more work is needed here and in our other sites. See Map of Savannah Areas for the location of our restoration areas.

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

Make a difference and come out and "play". The photos are from our last session on July 8.

No hoses here, just buckets
Urban Forestry "Rainbird"
New plants need gentle watering
Many, many watering cans worth are needed
Removing Tall Sweet White Clover
Hedge Parsley is next to go
Under it all are Black Oak trees
With care they will become grand old oaks
Site 10A (Bloor North) - before weeding
It looks like a field of clover
Site 10A (Bloor North) - after weeding
There are lots of native plants hidden here
 

Restoration Site Maintenance (Weeding 101)- Sunday, July 8

Maintenace 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 our new restoration site near Bloor Street on the east side of the road. Our work will include weeding, watering, and also removing some of the invasives from the surrounding management unit (Tall Sweet White Clover, Hedge Parsley). You may go directly there if you know where it is.

If you don't know where the site is, meet us in front of the Grenadier Restaurant at 10:30 and a group will go from there.

We also 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).

It is really amazing how a few people can make such a difference in one morning. The top photos are from our last year's sessions, the bottom from June 17, 2012.

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

Uncover plants like butterflyweed and penstemon
June 2011
Stewards to the rescue
Sculpture Garden site
The Sculpture Garden site
It's easy to see where we planted last year
The All-Star site
This site is a bit overgrown
 

In the Nursery - Sunday, June 24

The Greenhouse Nursery is one of the very special places in the park that the High Park Stewards are able to visit that are not open to the general public. This is where many of the plants used in our restoration projects mature and where seed stocks are grown for future plantings.

We will be weeding then transplanting some very beautiful native plants.

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

Photos of Savannah plants:Savannah Wildflowers and Woodland Plants:Wildflowers

The Nursery is like an enchanted woodland
August 2009
There are a wide variety of plants to care for
August 2009
 

Planting Time, Everyone Welcome - Sunday, June 10

Many hands are needed to help replant our newest savannah restoration site with native plants.

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.

Photos of Savannah plants:Savannah Wildflowers For habitat info see:Black Oak Savannah & Woodlands

About 1/3 of the park’s natural environment consists of nationally rare oak savannah, an open, park-like landscape that contains widely spaced black oaks, scattered low shrubs and a rich variety of prairie grasses and wildflowers.

The All-Star Site has matured in the past 3 years
July 2011
Planting in the Sculpture Garden site
June 2011
 

Elite Invasive Squad 83 - Garlic Mustard, 0

We're done. Elite Invasive Squad Spring Battle is over.

137 hours of work. 83 giant bags of garlic mustard. Be proud and take a break. See you in the fall. see photos and other news Stewards Facebook Page.

Many thanks to Linda Read for organizing the group and to Alexandrina, Amanda, Amy, Barbi, Ben, Bill, Cat, Debbi, Dianne, Gloria, Inge, Julie, Krystal, Leslie, Lisa, Mary, Mary Jo, Melanie, Nadia, Oscar, Rosemary, Susan, Tanya, William, Chris (and son) and others who participated in the Elites and in our Garlic Mustard pull on May 20.

 

BEAN Garlic Mustard Pull, Everyone Welcome - Sunday, May 20

The Biodiversity and Education Awareness Network BEAN has an excellent program that we are again participating in to help keep this species from further damaging our forests. As many people as possible are needed as there is no end of this plant in High Park.

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.

Also see High Park Stewards Facebook Invasive Squad info

Ontario Invasive Plant Council and for a 5.2 mb pdf on Garlic Mustard

High Park specific invasive plants Invasive Plant Species

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
 

Garlic Mustard Busting, Sundays in May 2012

Garlic Mustard Removal 2011
volunteer stewards at work near the Black Oak Cafe

View PINGG invitation for this session

The High Park Stewards have a new special dedicated group called THE ELITE INVASIVE SQUAD. We will be meeting on Sunday mornings during the month of May and at other times as agreed on by the group and our Urban Forestry advisers to tackle a variety of threats to our native plant habitat.

There is one session on Saturday, May 5th instead of Sunday to not conflict with our native plant sale. Other sessions on May 13, 20 and 27.

If you would like to join in these extra activities, please contact InvasiveSquad@highparknature.org. You will be contacted with the locations and times of the sessions.


View PINGG invitation for this session

 

Native Plant Sale Sunday, May 6th, 2012

'''The sale will take place in front of the Greenhouse from 11:00 to 2:00 pm. Please park in the Grenadier Restaurant parking lot. Assistance in carrying plants will be provided. Cash only.

In order to have plants for everyone to enjoy, large orders will be available only after 1:00 from the remaining stock.

This plant sale is a project of the High Park Volunteer Stewardship Program

Plant Lists and other downloads

Plants by Bloom Time (xls)

Plant photos - previous years (pdf)

Plant Sale Flyer for 2012 (pdf) Please help us by printing this and putting up posters where you think people will appreciate it.

list of available plants - 2012 (pdf) Plants at the sale are subject to change based on availability at that time.

Special Plant Sale Page with Photos and more info

 

View PINGG invitation for this session

 

Boulevard Beds Transformation, Sunday April 22, 2012

10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Landscape Designer Henny Markus who is redesigning the garden will lead us in a maintenance session that may include some new planting.

The Boulevard Beds are in front of the parking area for the Grenadier Restaurant. Please go directly there. If we have enough people we will have an alternative garlic mustard or other invasive species removal session.

We are giving the Beds a new structure
Volunteers are happy to be outside again
We showcase how beautiful native plants are
A new look for a new year
 

 

Transplanting in the Greenhouse, March 25, 2012

10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Meet in front of the Grenadier Restaurant and we will go to the native plant Greenhouse as a group. Please be prompt as gates may be locked afterwards.

This session has limited room and is by invitation to core members and frequent VSP volunteers. RSVP to invitation (PINGG) required.

Rootbound plants need our help
Plants are used in the park and for our plant sale
Transplanting in the Greenhouse
a special session for core volunteers
 

 

How to Identify Wild Plants, Sunday March 11, 2012

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive. 10:30am to 12:30 pm.

Directions Please enter via the downstairs doors as the stairs are often slippery.

Join us for a presentation and discussion by Richard Aaron, a long-time VSP volunteer who will discuss the wide range of field guides and other resources available for identifying wild plants and then explain in detail how to identify some of the more common native and invasive plants in High Park.

Topics to include:

  • recommended field guides & how to use them
  • other helpful identification resources
  • how common & scientific names can help with identification
  • identification tips, tricks & shortcuts
  • the beneficial roles of native plants
  • individual accounts of some native plants found in High Park
  • what is a weed?
  • the problem with invasive plants
  • individual accounts of some common invasive species found in High Park
  • interesting and unusual facts associated with the native and invasive species discussed

RICHARD AARON (B.A., M.B.A.) - Naturalist & educator Walks and other nature adventures

Based in Toronto, Ontario, I have been sharing my knowledge and passion for nature with others since 1991 and am interested in all facets of the natural world. My motto is "Explore - Observe - Question."

I have conducted walks, talks, workshops, and courses for a wide variety of organizations including universities, naturalist clubs, nature festivals, government agencies, corporate clients, and commercial tour operators. I have also worked as a staff naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park.

I place a premium on experiential learning whether it's examining a flower through a hand lens, netting an insect (for later release), or making a mushroom spore print. I strongly encourage intellectual curiosity, while acknowledging that sometimes the best questions are those that lack clear-cut answers.

Come join me on a journey of nature discovery!

Plant guides are useful in the field
Boulevard Beds, which are the invasive weeds?
Good observational skills are the key
new oak growth, would you know?
 

Just a few resources for native plant identification more HPN resources,

Evergreen native plant database, NANPS native plant database, LEAF Tree Info, Toronto Field Naturalists,

 

 

Sharpening our Stewardship Skills, Sunday February 26, 2012

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive. 10:30am to 12:30 pm.

Directions Please enter via the downstairs doors as the stairs are often slippery.

Join us for a training session with Patricia Landry, our Parks Program & Liaison Officer who will review the skills that will allow us to work effectively on restoration projects and special projects. She will also inform us on how our volunteer efforts enhance the work of the Urban Forestry High Park Management Plan.

Topics to include:

  • stewardship best practices
  • safety issues while on site
  • working with tools
  • special VSP projects
  • leadership skills for volunteers
  • restoration planning in High Park
  • strategies for invasive species control
  • other stewardship work happening in the city
  • natural gardens in the city (re: our native plant sales)

This is also a great opportunity to meet with someone who has been working for the city on a wide range of environmental issues for many years.

Patricia Landry, Parks Program & Liaison Officer

B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology, University of Guelph 14 years as Foreperson at Riverdale Farm which allowed me to develop my love of gardening and working with the public through educational programs. I still run into people who call me Farmer Patricia!

For the past 10 years, my portfolio covers a range of projects, including: West Nile Virus, City-Wide Garden Contest, Horticulture & Conservatories, Canada Blooms, Natural Gardens inspection, Gypsy Moth, EAB, gardens in the schools programming, green roofs, Health & Safety and volunteer stewardship support.

Stewards are easily identified
Boulevard Bed Maintenance
Loppers make short work of Buckthorn
our favourite fall tools
 

City of Toronto Stewardship info (as of 2011)

Natural Environment and Community Programs, Green Groups

 

Being a Super Steward - Skills for Working in the Field Sunday February 12, 2012

Howard Park Tennis Club, 430 Parkside Drive. 10:30am to 12:30 pm.

Directions Please enter via the downstairs doors as the stairs are often slippery.

Join us for a discussion and presentation by Susan Aaron, a long-time volunteer steward at the Nordheimer Ravine and other restoration sites who will enhance our knowledge of the skills and considerations needed when working in the field.

Topics will include:

  • responsible, responsive and experiential stewardship practices
  • the use of manuals, and guides
  • the stages in the growth of a restoration site
  • awareness of the types of changes in a site to plants and wildlife over time
  • changes caused by invasives and municipal issues
  • changes caused by stewardship activities, invasive removal, planting
  • the effects of pollinators
  • techniques for monitoring a site
  • keeping records of your work
  • planning for next steps in your restoration projects
Glen Edyth wetland in the Nordheimer Ravine
Photo: Susan Aaron
VSP Monitoring Oak Seedlings in High Park
Collars are used to protect young oak trees
 

City of Toronto Stewardship info (as of 2011)

Nordheimer Ravine Stewardship info, Natural Environment and Community Programs, Green Groups

 

Seed Cleaning in the Greenhouse: Sunday January 22, 2012

Directions Working sessions in the greenhouse are by invitation to our core members (those working on special projects and frequent volunteers) due to space restrictions.

View PINGG invitation to this session

 

10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Meet in front of the Grenadier Restaurant and we will go to the Greenhouse as a group.

This session has very limited room (25 people) and is by invitation to core members and frequent VSP volunteers. RSVP to invitation (PINGG) required.

If you are a frequent volunteer and do not receive an invitation by January 16, please contact stewards@highparknature.org.

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

Separating the seeds from the flower pod/head
Butterfly Milkweed Seeds
Seeds collected last year are ready to be cleaned
Some are very tiny when removed from the flowerhead
 

View PINGG invitation to this session

 

Stewardship Training Session: How to Look at Nature, Sunday January 8, 2012

Howard Park Tennis Club. 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Directions

Katie Krelove from the High Park Nature Centre will be leading a session on various techniques to use when viewing natural areas. Ecologists, botanists, geologists and other professionals each have a specific way of viewing natural areas. As people who are concerned about protecting natural areas what are the important things that you should know, especially when visiting places you may not already be familiar with?

Are you in a savannah, a prairie, a meadow? What kinds of plants and wildlife would you expect to see during the various seasons? What effect do invasive species have on the native plants? What plants, birds and other creatures are there if you know where to look for them?

The presentation will be followed by Q&A then a walk outside (weather permitting), so dress warmly.

All-Star site in October 2011
what plants are these?
Katie leads Ontario Nature tour of High Park
October 15, 2011
 

See also:

What I Like to Do in Winter, Dagmar Baur, Wildflower magazine, 2003

Rare Plants Guidebook

Restoration and Site Restoration

 
Site Restoration Sculpture Garden Site Restoration 2009 - present
Sculpture Garden Stewards Sept 2009
Sculpture Garden Site
Sculpture Garden Stewards June 2010
Sculpture Garden Site
First a tarp is laid to kill the weeds
Sculpture Garden Site
Plants are grown in the High Park greenhouse
Sculpture Garden Site
Volunteers and Urban Forestry plant (2009)
Sculpture Garden Site
New plants have a chance to thrive
Sculpture Garden Site
Sept. 2009 plants on July 2010
Sculpture Garden Site
Wildlife have a home (Skipper butterfly)
Sculpture Garden Site

hosted by canadianwebhosting.ca | powered by pmwiki-2.2.102
Content last modified on December 30, 2014, at 02:02 AM EST