Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SUMMARY: MINUTES FOSS STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING, SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2017

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         
SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2017
7:06PM, LAMP, 185 5th Street, Etobicoke

FOSS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: October 24, 2017, 7:00PM, LAMP (large meeting room).
a)    Volunteers needed for projects such as—2018 FOSS Photography Exhibition, May Bird Festival, and the Winter Bird Feeding Project at Colonel Sam Park.
b)   Treasurer’s Report
c)    Question and Answer Session
d)   Formation of a Steering Committee (maximum 12) for selection of an executive
e)    Slide show presentation of Sam Smith Park and its wildlife
f)     Door prize—framed nature photograph
g)   Refreshments

ASSEMBLY HALL CULTURAL DAYS (SEPTEMBER 30): FOSS volunteers will lead nature photography sessions in Colonel Sam Park and facilitate children’s bird feeder and bird nesting material projects.

SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL UPDATE: Deemed to be a great success. Thanks to all the volunteers and attendees. Large crowds. Additional exhibitors would be greatly welcomed for 2018.

INVASIVE SPECIES: FOSS Steering Committee members successfully cut and bagged most of the burdock (a weed known to be a danger to small birds as they may become captured by the sticky dried seed heads) in Colonel Sam Park. The team’s goal is to attack this plant in May 2018 when it is in flower. Additional volunteers welcome.

 DRUG/GARBAGE PROBLEMS AT COL. SAM: Discarded drug paraphernalia and litter are on-going detriments in the park, particularly in the North Creek area. Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug infractions and 311 for trash build-up.

TWO-HOUR PARKING LIMIT ON SOUTH LOT AT COLONEL SAM: Vehicles are being marked and fines are being issued.
                                                                                                                                              

Sunday, October 1, 2017

FOSS AGM - TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24TH

FRIENDS OF SAM SMITH PARK
 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
7.00 p.m.

LAMP
Community Health Centre

185 Fifth Street, Etobicoke, ONT M8V 2Z5

FOSS President's message
Questions and Answers
Committee volunteers
Presentation by Sandra Hawkins
Door Prize
Everyone welcome

IMAGES FROM SATURDAY'S "WILD IN THE PARK" WORKSHOPS AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL - FOSS'S CONTRIBUTION TO THIS YEAR'S "CULTURAL DAYS" - BIRD FEEDERS, WINDOW MURAL, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Irene Cholewka - Photography Workshop Facilitator

"I was honored to be a part of the Wild in the Park Workshops on Saturday September 30, 2017! It was lead by Nancy Barrett who was amazing, full of wonderful and helpful information and fearless!

We had 2 groups- one at 10:30 am and the 2nd at 1:30 pm. All I can say is that this was a great fun learning experience for me and I hope the attendees also got to take away some good information and helpful hints from our workshop. 

For me, my personal feeling of satisfaction of trying to help someone to achieve that special photo, with the right light, fuzzy background and subject in sharp focus is the best feeling one can have. I felt like a proud momma!

We saw everything from birds, to flowers, some autumn colors and dragonflies. We even saw a garter snake! Fearless Nancy picked up the snake so everyone could get a good look and photo of it!

This was a great experience for me, and look forward to doing it again in the future."










Friday, September 15, 2017

FOSS WORKSHOPS DURING ETOBICOKE "CULTURE DAYS"- ASSEMBLY HALL, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH



SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH - at the Assembly Hall, Etobicoke

10 a.m.                 WILD IN THE PARK”

Presented in partnership by the Assembly Hall and Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS)
Come discover the wildlife of Sam Smith Park! Family-friendly activities include the creation of a large wall mural, plus DIY bird feeders and bird nest warmers for you to make and take home. Free.
 
1.30 p.m.              “WILD IN THE PARK” PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

Presented by Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS)
FOSS wildlife photographer Nancy Barrett will share tips on how to take great shots of birds and animals. Bring your camera or camera phone and meet at the Assembly Hall before heading out into the park for this hands-on workshop. Ages 12 and up. Youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Free.

Space limited: pre-register at assembly@toronto.ca

Thursday, September 7, 2017

TUESDAY, SEPT. 19TH. - HUMBER BAY BUTTERFLY HABITAT WILDFLOWER PLANTING




Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat Wildflower Planting

When  Tue, 19 September, 10:00 – 12:00
Where  Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat (map)
Description  Join the City of Toronto at the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat to help plant native shrubs and wildflowers. Meet City Staff by the trail near the intersection of Silver Moon Dr., and Marine Parade Dr. Follow signs to planting site. Street parking is available.

REMOVING BURDOCK

Today, FOSS members Monique Fischer, Barbara Keaveney, Sandra Hawkins, Lynda Crowder and Bruce Wilkinson were out helping to provide a safer environment for the park's birds.  Numerous large bags of burdock were cut down and carted away.

At this time of the year, small birds, especially American Goldfinches, get tangled up in burdock seed heads.

clinging burs that were not only the inspiration for Velcro - See more at: http://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/identify/invasive-species/invasive-plants/burdock/#sthash.Ba5FMBcO.dpuf
Goldfinches are accustomed to perching on the large heads to eat. As long as only their feet touch the burs they are okay, but, when feathers brush against a hooked bur, the small bird's strength is not sufficient to get free from the tenacious plant.  The plant employs a hook-and-loop system to latch seed heads onto passers-by for dispersal and was the inspiration for Velcro.  

In many parts of Canada, burdock is considered a noxious weed and is eradicated where possible.  In Toronto, because of the danger to birds, there is currently a volunteer effort being organized by the Toronto Ornithological Club and TRCA to remove burdock.

 We have some patches of burdock growing in Sam Smith Park, especially on the outer headlands near the beavers' winter lodge.  On your walks, keep a look out for trapped birds and please attempt to gently release them.