By Sean Delaney
On Sunday, October 3 many residents met at Rowntree Mills Parks to continue planting new shrubs and plants.
Stephanie Smith of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) was the coordinator for the community-based restoration team. Why is everyone digging holes in one particular area?
“Well, to start, we are here to help to grow the forest canopy by planting new trees and shrubs, doing our best to make sure that the soil in the park is fertile and does not erode,” Smith said. “We are testing six different types of trees and shrubs. Our ultimate goal is to grow additional meadow habitats that can shelter more small animals and migratory birds. The newly planted species will spend the next six months growing roots and, in the spring, sprout leaves. “
It is the taking of vital, ongoing measurements of the various plantings that will help lead the city to decide which species thrive and are the best ones they should continue planting at that point. Less of the selection process is left to chance, which significantly reduces the chance of failure and waste of resources. The overall monitoring project is slated for 5 years.
Some local schools and students, along with board trustees Christopher Mammoliti and Ida Li Preti have participated since 2019, the beginning of the project. Councillor Anthony Perruzza and staff, along with MPP Tom Rakocevic and staff, are also very active in the program. And many thanks to local community activists and environmentalists, Grant Evers and Edith George.