Friday, November 7, 2014

OPEN HOUSE INFO - SAM SMITH PARK ENVIRONMENTALLY SIGNIFICANT AREA


City staff have prepared a report for the Planning and Growth Management Committee proposing action on an Official Plan Amendment to add additional Environmentally Significant Areas to the City's natural heritage system. Sam Smith Park is one of them (see previous FOSS post on this - it includes a link to the full report).

Friends of Sam Smith Park is concerned that the area being considered for designation and protection  appears to be limited to the lakefill portion of the park south of the Waterfront Trail and does not include the two bird-rich areas to the west and east of the oval sports field - North Creek and the Dogwood Thickets.

FOSS has submitted a formal request to the City to extend the proposed ESA to include these two areas.  The map shows the areas we are suggesting.  We have also provided a description and list of birds that are commonly seen in these two birding hot spots (see below).

The City is holding an open house to invite Torontonians to share their views on the draft changes.  It is on Thursday, November 27th, 2014 at 6.30 p.m. at the Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall in the Council Chamber foyer.

It is important to be there to support the City's report and to lend weight to the the inclusion of the two added areas.  Please mark this in your calendars.


BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON
"North Creek"


A small, historically important, wooded creek that runs down to a marsh on the west side of the sports oval.  It is bordered by a spruce woodlot, shrubs and meadow.


·         10 species of Flycatchers (including Western Kingbird)

·         6 species of Thrushes

COOPER'S HAWK
·         3 species of Mimidae

·         5 species of Vireos

·         25 species of Warblers (including Hooded Warbler and Yellow-Breasted Chat)

·         10 species of Sparrows

·         6 species of Blackbirds (including Orchard Oriole)

·         Many other species: Merlin, Cooper’s Hawk, Northern Raven, Northern Saw-whet and Long-Eared Owls, both Crossbills and Grosbeaks.

·         Black-Crowned Night Herons roost and have nested in the spruce trees for over a decade.





EASTERN TOWHEE
"Dogwood Thickets"


A newly enlarged woodlot on the east side of the sports oval.  In 2010 and 2011, volunteers added new bird-friendly shrubs and

trees to the existing woodlot.  Those include Silver Maple, Serviceberry, Red Osier Dogwood, Hawthorn, Tamarack, White Spruce, Balsam Poplar, Cedar, Raspberries and Elderberries.  This area has become the “hot spot” in Sam 
Smith Park for birders and photographers.


SCARLET TANAGER
·         9 species of Flycatchers

·         7 species of Thrushes (including Bluebirds)

·         6 species of Vireos (including White-Eyed Vireo)

·         26 species of Warblers (including Cerulean, Blue-Winged and Golden-Winged Warblers)

·         5 species of Woodpeckers

·         Many other species: Eastern Screech Owl, Eastern Towhee, Scarlet Tanager and nesting Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers.



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