Trees Across Toronto 2015
Each year, thousands of Torontonians participate in Trees Across Toronto, the City's flagship community stewardship event, aimed at growing our canopy and renaturalizing new areas of our city. This year, the focus was on L'Amoreaux North Park and Humber Arboretum, although there were unofficial events held in other locations like Cottonwood Flats in Crothers Woods.
By 10:00 Saturday morning, the L'Amoreaux North Park site was absolutely swarming with activity. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation had set up the site in advance, with well over a thousand serviceberry, elderberry, chokecherry, white cedar, and other natives strategically placed throughout. Training was provided to all attendees, many of which had never planted anything before, even in their own garden.
The designated planting area was enormous. Stretching from the access point on Ivy Bush Ave. down to McNicoll Ave., the entire grassy area from the houses on Morbank Dr. to the park trail leading to L'Amoreaux South Park was in bounds. This represents a significant increase in natural space, roughly about half the size of the entire area of nearby Passmore Forest.
To witness a dull, virtually featureless void of park grass transformed into a diverse plant community in only a few short hours is truly inspiring. Community stewardship is most often a process of ongoing resistance, punctuated by small, slow victories. Massive change like that brought by an event like Trees Across Toronto is pretty atypical, but highly rewarding. It's a reminder that popular participation can make a big difference.
I`ll be leading a walk through L'Amoreaux North Park and Passmore Forest for the Toronto Field Naturalists on Sunday, July 26th, 2015, and am already excited to check in on the planting to see what's taken hold and how things are evolving.