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

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

  HPNature is a member of Ontario's Nature Network


Volunteer Opportunities 

Volunteer Stewardship Program - Sessions


High Park Stewards meet on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of each month, rain or shine.








Buckthorn Busting 1-2-3 - Sunday Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and Nov. 22

Our last 3 sessions of the year are Buckthorn Busting. On November 22 it will be followed by a pot-luck lunch.

Buckthorn Busting is a very popular activity for studnets who want to collect volunteer hours and for anyone who likes being outdoors and finds satisfaction in helping our restoration efforts by clearing large areas of this invasive shrub. You can really see the difference a few hours of work can make.

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.

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

Many hands collect a lot of Buckthorn
photo from October 2010
Buckthorn plants produce a huge amount of seeds
Let's catch them before they spread
We collected at least 3 truckfulls
photo from October 23, 2011
Some plants have sticky seeds
please do not wear fleece or other non-smooth clothes

Upcoming Sessions

Schedule for 2015, subject to change based on weather and need
  • Oct. 25: Buckthorn Removal
  • Nov. 8: Buckthorn Removal,
  • Nov. 22: Buckthorn Removal and Pot-Luck Lunch

The Elite Squad will work Sun and Tues mornings, from late April to mid June, and in the fall, Sept and Oct removing invasive species like garlic mustard. Contact if you would like to be an Elite.

High Park Stewards Facebook Invasive Squad info

The Boulevard Bed Squad will be determining their schedule, with monthly maintenance of the beds spring to fall. Contact

Outdoor sessions are dependent on weather and growing conditions and what is determined to be the greatest need for our volunteer efforts.



Get more involved

If anyone is interested in becoming part of our Steering Committee, a session greeter or working on any special projects including communications and the Boulevard Beds please let me know.

If you have a desire to become more involved and/or expertise in a wide variety of areas that could enhance our group, please see this document Stewards Additional Opportunities (pdf) and let us know how you would like to participate.

Sharon Lovett Chair, High Park Stewards,


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).

TWEETERS WANTED. @highparksteward is looking for more people to help with this project. Tweet directly or you can contact us at

If you would like to be added to the list please email


Special thanks to our Communication team: Aaron Wieland (web and publication postings, and Linda Read (Facebook), and to Karen Yukich for starting and maintaining this website.

Special thanks also to Linda Read for organizing the Elite Invasive Squad, Leslie Gooding and Bill Montague for their work with the High Park Resource Group and other activities, to Tanya Aggett for catering and financial services.

Henny Markus is redesigning and leading a group of special volunteers for planting and weeding the Boulevard Beds native plant garden and has already done a wonderful job of making it look healthy and inspiring. If you are interested in helping with this please email

Other Items and Events of Interest

There are always many thngs happening in the nature community. See Other Groups & Events for upcoming walking tours, presentations and activities of other local environment groups.

New England Aster
grow summer plants for pollinators and beauty


The Local Scoop and Calendar of environmental events

Native Plant Girl

City of Toronto Urban Forestry Info

Evergreen and Brickworks

North American Native Plant Society

NANPS Native Plant database

Garden Jane workshops

Toronto Botanical Gardens

LEAF Native Garden Kits

CWF Wild About Gardening


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

High Park Stewards meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month, rain or shine.


About the High Park Stewards (VSP) and 2015 Past Sessions


Follow us on and on High Park Stewards Facebook Group

2015 session dates and draft topics and the Stewards 2014 Brochure

If you would like to be added to the list please email


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Content last modified on October 12, 2015, at 10:32 PM EST