Saturday, July 11, 2015

E-BIKES IN SAM SMITH PARK

People have been asking about the legality of riding electric bikes or e-scooters in Sam Smith Park.

We checked municipal by-laws and found out that they are classified as "motorized recreational vehicles" under Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 608, and therefore, they are NOT permitted on bike paths or foot paths in City of Toronto Parks.

Follow this link for more information.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS TO FOSS STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER BARBARA KEAVENEY - LOCAL "URBAN HERO" FOR THE ENVIRONMENT



Barbara Keaveney teaches love of nature along bird walks
2015 Urban Hero award winner - Environment category, sponsored by Humbertown Shopping Centre
 

Etobicoke Guardian - July 5th. 2015
 
Barbara Keaveney’s passion for teaching reaches beyond her four decades in an Etobicoke classroom to spearheading environmental education along the waterfront.
The Alderwood woman has been with Citizens Concerned About the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront (CCFEW) since 2001 when she read an article in The Guardian about bird walks in Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
Her then 14-year-old son found fellow bird enthusiasts on the walks. Soon after, Keaveney was organizing them.
Today, there are 193 different bird species on CCFEW’s bird checklist.
“The interest is growing and growing,” Keaveney said of the park’s annual bird festival she helps organize. It is now in its sixth year.
“At first, people thought it was just for birders. But it’s for anyone who wants to get out and see and walk the park. Mainly, it’s to get people into the park.”
Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a rare naturalized waterfront park at the foot of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Kipling Avenue, little-known beyond area residents. Keaveney sits on its stewardship organization, Friends of Sam Smith Park.
Debbie Wagdin nominated Keaveney for an Urban Hero Award for her “enormous impact” on environmental education of the public, and local school children.
“Barbara uses her quiet determination to bring her love of nature to countless members of the public and thousands of school children,” Wagdin said.
Four years ago, Keaveney reached out to Humber Arboretum staff to encourage them to offer their nature programs in the park. Last year, 1,800 local elementary students took part.
“It feels great. The classes really took off last year,” she said. “Once they go, the same people are coming back, and teachers are telling other teachers.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MOSQUITO LARVAE SPRAYING IN SAM SMITH



Signs have appeared in the park indicating that mosquito larvae spraying has recently occurred.  The two signs are next to standing water in a ditch adjacent to the path and next to one of the four inner ponds of the wetland complex.  FOSS was concerned, particularly about spraying the wetland ponds, and approached the City for an explanation.

Toronto Public Health responded in this way .......



"Surface water pools are regularly monitored by staff and are only treated once the presence of mosquito larvae is detected.  BTi is used to treat these pools and is a highly specific biological bacterium that kills the larvae within a matter of hours.   This product is not harmful to humans, pets, wildlife and fish.
TPH has two vector borne disease field operators who monitor surface water locations for mosquito breeding.  When a site is identified they conduct larvae dipping to determine the presence of larvae and take samples back to the office to verify vector species for WNv.  When a location is identified that requires treatment, a referral is made to our contracted service provider (Pestalto) for montioring and treatment.  Pestalto holds a permit with the MOE and have licensed applicators to apply the larvicide.  The product used is a biological larvicide (derived from naturally occurring soil bacteria) which breakdown quickly in the environment and are harmless to plants, mammals, fish, birds and insects other than mosquitoes and blackflies.  Please see our website for further information."
 
Although there appears to be no real danger to the spraying, it seems a little unusual to refer to a wetland pond as a "field pool" and aren't mosquito larvae part of a food chain?  Just saying.