Sunday, September 22, 2019

RECENT WHIMBREL POINT PLANTINGS



NOTE FROM BARBARA KEAVENEY ....

First, TRCA, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, went in and dug up all the burdock in this area by the roots.  Black tarp was laid down in spring.
   
Plastic mat was removed this week, and a hemp mulch mat was laid over the whole planting area.  This will break down in 3-5 years- enough time to give the new plants a good start.  After plants were put in the ground, a layer of tree mulch was laid on the whole area as well, and the plants were all watered by a couple of very energetic volunteers!

Species planted - Alleghany Blackberry; Flowering Raspberry; Red Osier Dogwood; Pasture Rose; St. John's Wort; 3 Eastern White Pine.

2 samples of each species were measured and statistics recorded.  These sample plants have a green ribbon on them, which should not be removed.  This site will be monitored by TRCA for the next 5 years, and the progress of these individual plants will be recorded for comparison purposes.  

Thank you to Jacob Mokrzynski and the TRCA for organizing this whole project!

Barbara

MARINA SHORELINE PATH MAINTENANCE INFO - STARTS OCTOBER 14TH

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, is planning to undertake minor maintenance repairs on an existing seawall structure in Colonel Samuel Smith Park in order to protect against the hazards of shoreline erosion and address public safety concerns. The seawall is located along the inner shoreline of the park near the Lakeshore Yacht Club.

Works are tentatively scheduled to commence the week of October 14, 2019 and are anticipated to take three weeks in duration. The maintenance works will address damage to the seawall and adjacent brick platform that was caused by the 2017 and 2019 record high lake level events. Repairs will include the replacement of rock material behind the seawall and the placement of gravel underneath the platform to fill existing voids. This work will strengthen the existing shoreline, help stabilize the park trail, and provide increased protection to park users.

The site will be accessed by Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive from the intersection of Kipling Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West. Trucks will enter the park from the cul-de-sac at the end of Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive and travel to the work area along the park trail. All deliveries will be guided by a Traffic Control Person who will direct trucks down the main trail to the work area while watching for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail within the immediate work area will be closed to park users to ensure public safety. Several "Notice of Construction" and "Trail Closure" signs will be placed along the trails leading to the work area to notify park users of the upcoming construction and available detour routes. Work hours will conform to City bylaws with activities taking place between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm daily. It is estimated that a total of 20-25 truck deliveries will be required to supply project materials. The majority of deliveries will take place in the early stages (first week) of the construction timeline, with a range of 2-4 deliveries per day during this time.


Prior to the commencement of construction activities, TRCA will provide a Notice of Construction letter that can be posted on school bulletin boards to inform students, parents, and staff members. TRCA and its drivers are aware of the multiple school campuses in the vicinity of the access route and student safety will be of utmost importance throughout the duration of the works. A map which highlights all school locations, crosswalks, and trail crossings along the access route will be provided to all delivery drivers to ensure that extra caution is taken while proceeding through these areas (please see attached map). Traffic Control Persons will facilitate the navigation of trucks within the park, further ensuring the safety of all park users and students in the area.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

NEW SAM SMITH PARK MAP WITH LOCATION NAMES

We have finally put together a map of the park with landmarks labelled on it, the purpose being to standardize location postings.  This should improve the accuracy of wildlife sightings, especially for those unfamiliar with the park.

The names are based on personal knowledge and what we understand to be common park usage.  We had to invent some new ones. 

While understanding that it is, essentially, an impossible task to come up with something that satisfies everyone in every detail, hopefully our efforts will, in time, prove useful.

The map can be downloaded here. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

CITY OF TORONTO STUDY OF EXISTING OFF-LEASH AREAS - OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE EXPERIENCES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

It has long been felt that poor conditions at the Sam Smith Park off-leash area are not very attractive to dog owners and, in fact, push owners to walk their dogs in the environmentally sensitive areas of the park, often off leash. The more appealing the dog park becomes, the more people will use it, leading to fewer off-leash dogs in unsanctioned areas.

FOSS has previously written to Councillor Grimes with suggestions for dog park improvements .....


The City of Toronto is currently conducting a formal study of existing off-leash areas. The purpose of the study is to identify necessary/desired improvements.  Here is the link to the study.

There are three ways to take part in the study:
  1. Take the online survey. It's critical to get your thoughts documented.
  2. Attend one of the pop-up consultations at a dog park this fall.
  3. Write imalczewski@swerhun.com  (Ian works for Swerhun Facilitation, and has been hired by Thinc Design (the City's consultants) to be the point person on the project. You could also email dola@toronto.ca, the general inbox for dogs off-leash areas.
The survey is pretty good. Know that if you identify yourself as a dog owner, you'll get the full survey, giving you the chance to express feedback on dog park design and more. If you say you don't have a dog, you'll only get a handful of questions. One question is about negative effects to the environment by off-leash dogs. Please tell it like it is. Please also include any solutions you'd like to suggest, if you wish.


PASSENGER PIGEON TALK BY GLEN COADY - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH


Click here for more information and to book free ticket.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

REMINDER - 2020 FOSS PHOTO CONTEST

We hope all you nature and wildlife photographers out there are filling your camera cards with images from Col. Sam Smith Park for next year's Nature Sanctuary Photo Contest!