SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL: 10th
Annual festival will be held on May 25th from 10AM-2PM in Col. Sam
Park. Children’s activities, guided walk in Swallow Field, FOSS hat, t-shirt and membership sales. Prizes and much more. Volunteers needed. No experience necessary. See blog for details.
NORTH CREEK POLLINATOR MEADOW: FOSS is
working with the City of Toronto to design and plant a pollinator meadow in the
park. Students from Sir Sandford Fleming College (supervised by Janette Harvey,
City of Toronto) have completed a design for the garden and have offered
suggestions as to the nature of the plantings. Work began on May 2. See blog for details.
DRONE PROBLEMS IN COL. SAM: Drone
operators have aggressively buzzed both people and wildlife (swallows, owls,
grebes) in the park. Harassment of
wildlife is against the law. If you observe such harassment, contact the
Municipal Standards By-law Enforcement Officer responsible for Col Sam
Park—Gary Borges, Cell # 647 460-4270. Office # 416 338-5706 OR call 311, OR e-mail
OR contact Ward 3 Councillor Mark Grimes.See blog for more detail.
BURDOCK REMOVAL: The TRCA plans to set up
a burdock eradication test site on Whimbrel Point.
GREBE PLATFORMS:FOSS President, Brian Keaveney, has been busy
repairing/building/installing platforms with the aid of Mr. Joe Calico
(originator of the platforms) of the Yacht Club.
OWL HARASSMENT: A few thoughtless
birders/photographers have been harassing Col. Sam’s owls of late. In addition
to disturbing the birds, these individuals tramp down trails and damage
vegetation. Caution: it is illegal to
NAMING PARK ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AND
NATURAL HERITAGE AREAS: A FOSS
mapping project to assign names to significant areas of the park (such as the
already-designated “Whimbrel Point”) in order to provide consistency when
communicating info about Col. Sam. For more details, check the blog. Names are
being collected and a map will be published in the blog when completed.
PARKING LOT TICKETING BLITZ: The city has
recently been conducting parking ticket blitzes at Col. Sam. There is a two
hour parking limit for the south lot. Please report any parking problems to
FOSS SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: Check out
FOSS on both Instagram and Facebook. No personal Facebook account? You may still
view the contents, but you will be unable to post comments. Keep watch for
nature photos highlighting your park.
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. Any problems reported to 311 are
greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.
10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act: Proposed Changes
In a move that will prove devastating to species at risk, the
Ontario government has unveiled plans to severely undermine the
Endangered Species Act. The government has given the public just 30 days
to comment on the proposed changes to the law. The deadline for comments is May 18.
There have been some recent altercations between drone operators and park users over the harassment of wildlife.
The City of Toronto's Park bylaw that does not allow the operation of "powered models of aircraft and rockets" in City parks does not include flying drones per se as prohibited and we are told that this is currently a grey area when it comes to successful prosecution in court. The City is pursuing a definitive policy on this matter and it will be cleared up, hopefully sooner than later.
However, the City's Park bylaws are unequivocal when it comes to the harassment of wildlife - "disturbing wildlife" is definitely prohibited.
So, drone operators who are observed buzzing the birds in the Swallow Field or the grebe nesting platforms, as well as the Snowy Owl out on the dock last winter, or, indeed, any other instance of wildlife harassment are to be reported immediately. An official complaint has been launched by FOSS with the City's Bylaw Standards due to recent incidents and an investigation, as well as increased vigilance, has been assured. The Municipal Standards Bylaw Enforcement officer responsible for Sam Smith Park is Gary Borges. His cell phone number is 647 460 4270 (office 416 338 5706) and he has given us permission to give out his phone number so that a quicker response to an incident is possible.
heralded the beginning of an exciting new project for Sam Smith Park.
FOSS members, along with Janette Harvey, Natural
Environment Specialist for the City of Toronto, laid down the first tarpaulin
in order to “smother” an area of the park to begin the preparation for a meadow
restoration that will provide a high quality pollinator habitat.It will be called the “North Creek Meadow”
and is located south of the large pond/wetland near the lake culvert.
has long advocated for pollinator habitat improvements in the park and we have
expressed an interest in participating in all phases of any restoration plan.
project design is the result of collaboration between Janette Harvey and
students from the School of Environmental
& Natural Resource Sciences at Sir Sandford Fleming College.
preparation includes tarping, or smothering, and light tilling. The implementation
phase involves mulching around the plot sites, followed by seeding, and
planting of carefully selected and desired vegetation. Stewardship and
monitoring activities will monitor the overall health of the site, native
plants, pollinator presence/absence, and the removal of invasive and/or
encroacher species. Friends of Sam Smith
will be involved in multiple steps of the North Creek Meadow Restoration
process and the plan offers volunteer opportunities for locals to become
project will take four years to complete with different plots established at
different times during that period.The
current year will involve no more than signposting and the tarping and checking
of the first plot from April to November.Three more plots will follow.
looking for volunteers to help at the Tenth Annual Colonel Samuel Smith Park Bird Festival, on Saturday,
May 25!The actual
Bird Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but volunteers are needed as early
as 8:30 a.m. to help with putting up signs, flags, setting out tables and
chairs for participating groups, and helping participants unload their items as
quickly as possible from their vehicles.
We could also use volunteers from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. (or part of this time)- to
help with "Children's activities", and at the end of the Festival, at
2 p.m., to take down signs and help pack up.
Any help is appreciated- no experience necessary! Please consider volunteering
for an hour or two before the Festival to help make it a great success again
this year. If you can help, please contact Barbara Keaveney at Barbara.email@example.com,
and let us know when you can come- e.g. 8:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., or 9:00 a.m.
Migration Beginner Bird hike schedule is now set. We plan to bird the
local birding hot spot, Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Kyle and Barb from Wild
Birds Unlimited will be leading the hikes. We will be looking for our returning
migrants: warblers, grosbeaks, tanagers, flycatchers, thrush and many more.
Please bring binoculars and dress appropriately. Hike
call or email the store and sign up for the hike/hikes date/s you wish to
attend. Please provide the number of attendees.