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The Friends of Sam Smith Park steering committee meets every month, either in person or via ZOOM.  Meeting summaries are posted here.  Summaries for the time period November 2013 up to June 2021 can be found on the previous FOSS blog's home page by clicking below.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting

September 25, 2023

7:04 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

2023 FOSS PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: November 1 (Wednesday). Drop-off: 5:30-6:30PM. Lighting: 6:00PM. PARADE: 6:30-8:00PM. Location: Traffic circle next to the south parking lot (at the end of Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive).

Please bring a candle and a jar (for wind protection) to illuminate your jack o’ lanterns.

SNAPPING TURTLE NESTS: The Col. Sam Snapping Turtle nests are each likely to produce 20-30 baby turtles. One nest has been predated. Postings on the Col. Sam Facebook page have generated much interest in “citizen science”. Update: Volunteers monitoring the situation recently reported that one of the nests has had a successful hatch. FOSS extends many thanks to all volunteers.

WARNING: To protect the safety and health of the hatchlings, please do not pick them up or aid them in their journey to the water as movement is necessary for initial muscle development.

2023 NEW TORONTO HOLIDAY MARKET: November 25. Vendors, crafts (visit FOSS’s table), kids’ activities and more. Join FOSS or renew your membership for 2024. Check website for details:

<< https://www.lakeshoregrounds.ca/holiday-market>>

GREBE PLATFORMS: Thanks to Brian Keaveny, with help from Paul LaLonde of the Lakeshore Yacht Club, all grebe nesting platforms have been retrieved. The platforms will be allowed to dry before any necessary repairs can be done in preparation for use in 2024.

TREE SWALLOW NEST BOXES: Thanks to Terry Smith and Bruce Wilkinson who will clean and then place covers on the Tree Swallow nest boxes in Swallow Field. The covers help to deter House Sparrow residency.

WASHROOM ACCESS: At the upcoming meeting of the Lakeshore Grounds Committee, the FOSS representative will advocate for year-round washroom availability. Park visitors may also help FOSS by contacting Councillor Morley’s office (Councillor_Morley@toronto.ca) with any personal concerns.

FOSS MEMBERSHIPS: The membership period is now January through December. For more information about the cost of membership, as well as the activities it helps to support, see the link below:

https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/about-6

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting

June 26, 2023

7:04 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

COL. SAM SMITH PARK SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL Saturday, May 27. Thanks to all the volunteers that helped make FOSS’s participation in the festival such a great success. Thanks also to the many visitors that enjoyed our displays and who took part in the various activities that FOSS had to offer.

NEW FOSS MISSION STATEMENT: In order to promote the “protection” of the park, FOSS’s new mission statement is as follows: Enhancing and fostering appreciation of the unique habitats and biodiversity of Colonel Samuel Smith Park in South Etobicoke, Ontario.

SNAPPING TURTLE NESTS: Of six Snapping Turtle nests located in the park, two were predated and four were not. Thank you to Fran Duncan who generously constructed four turtle nest protectors complete with Col. Sam labels. Hatching is expected in late August. At that time, the Col. Sam community is encouraged to witness the hatching and to monitor/protect the hatchlings.

WARNING: To protect the safety and health of the hatchlings, please do not pick them up or aid them in their journey to the water.

CATERPILLAR COUNT: EcoSpark is conducting a Caterpillar Count in and south of the Wildwood. The sites are marked with surveyor’s tape and will soon have labels. Check the FOSS website for more information. Additional information is available through EcoSpark’s website as well:

<https://www.ecospark.ca/caterpillarscount>

WILDFLOWER PICKING IN COL. SAM: An individual has been sighted picking large quantities of wildflowers for the purpose of drying them for future sale. NOTE: It is strictly illegal  to pick wildflowers in Col. Sam or any other park. Toronto Parks and its by-law officers have been made aware of this matter. Please call 311 to report any such activity.

WASHROOM ACCESS: FOSS has not yet been able to resolve the problem related to the lack of    reliable washroom access for park visitors. Please help FOSS by contacting Councillor Morley’s office (Councillor_Morley@toronto.ca) with your personal concerns.

FOSS MEMBERSHIPS: The new membership period is now January through December. Anyone who renewed from October through December 2022 will be carried over. For more information about the cost of membership, as well as the activities it helps to support, see the link below:

https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/about-6

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting    
March 27th, 2023
7:04 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

COL. SAM SMITH PARK CLEANUP Sunday, April 23, 9AM-3PM. Garbage bags provided. Bring your own gloves/boots. Dress for the weather. See link below for details. 
https://events.trca.ca/tile;event=annual-park-cleanup-at-colonel-sam-smith-park-2;instance=20230423090000
COL. SAM SMITH PARK SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL Saturday, May 27. Bird walks, nature exhibits, activities for both kids and adults. Whimbrel watch. Refer to the FOSS web site and Facebook page for additional information as it becomes available.
DONATION FOR NEW GREBE PLATFORM: FOSS wishes to thank well-known birder Jean Iron for her generous donation of $300. The funds will be used to purchase materials necessary for the construction of a new grebe platform.
DONATIONS FROM HUMBER COLLEGE: FOSS also thanks The Technical Trades Group at Humber College’s North Campus for constructing/donating 30 Oriole feeders, 40 bird box kits, 16 seed feeders and 20 Tree Swallow boxes. Kits/feeders will be featured as “give-aways” at the May Bird Festival. 
Three of the new swallow boxes have already been installed. The other 17 are in need of T-posts for mounting. If anyone wishes to donate funds to purchase a post(s), the cost is $14 per item. Donations may be made via e-Transfer. See FOSS Membership page for link. When donating, please indicate the purpose of your donation.
WASHROOM ACCESS: FOSS continues to lobby on behalf of park users for reliable washroom access. Please help FOSS by contacting Councillor Morley’s office (Councillor_Morley@toronto.ca) with your personal concerns. 
WINTER BIRD FEEDER PROJECT: The project ran successfully from the first week of December until mid March. FOSS thanks all seven enthusiastic participants for their dedication.
FOSS MEMBERSHIPS: Annual FOSS membership presently ends on April 30. The new membership period will now be January through December. Anyone who renewed from October through December 2022 will be carried over. For more information about the cost of membership, as well as the activities it helps to support, see the link below:
https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/about-6

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting    
February 27th, 2023
7:02 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

COL. SAM SMITH PARK CLEANUP Sunday, April 23, 9AM-3PM. Garbage bags provided. Bring your own gloves/boots. Dress for the weather. See link below for details. 
https://events.trca.ca/tile;event=annual-park-cleanup-at-colonel-sam-smith-park-2;instance=20230423090000
COL. SAM SMITH PARK SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL Saturday, May 27. Bird walks, nature exhibits, activities for both kids and adults. Whimbrel watch. Refer to the FOSS web site and Facebook page for additional information as it becomes available.
FOSS MEMBERSHIPS: Annual FOSS membership presently ends on April 30. The new membership period will now be January through December. Anyone who renewed from October through December 2022 will be carried over. For more information about the cost of membership as well as the activities it helps to support, see the link below:

https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/about-6

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

January 23rd, 2023

 7:02 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

COL. SAM SMITH PARK CLEANUP Sunday, April 23, 9AM-3PM. Garbage bags provided. Bring your own gloves/boots. Dress for the weather. See link below for details.

https://events.trca.ca/tile;event=annual-park-cleanup-at-colonel-sam-smith-park-2;instance=20230423090000

COL. SAM SMITH PARK SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL Saturday, May 27. Bird walks, nature exhibits, activities for both kids and adults. Whimbrel watch. Refer to the FOSS web site and Facebook page for additional information as it becomes available.

 

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

November 28th, 2022

 7:03 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

FOSS PUMPKIN PARADE: Great success! Great weather! Great community involvement! The number of pumpkins on display continues to increase each year. Thanks to all participants and attendees. Check the FOSS web site for photos of all FOSS-sponsored events:

https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/blog-1

NEW TORONTO HOLIDAY MARKET: Lots of fun for both kids and adults and a great way to get into a holiday mood. The making of decorative “swags” proved, once again, to be the most popular activity. FOSS thanks all those who generously and spontaneously offered monetary donations to help cover the cost of materials. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

GREBE PLATFORMS: FOSS would like to acknowledge the generosity of a park supporter who has offered to pay for the construction of a new grebe platform. Each platform costs approximately $300. Your membership fees have borne this cost up until now.

WINTER BIRD FEEDING PROJECT: Five bird feeders have been erected at various locations around the skating trail. The feeders conform to city by-laws and are deemed to be legitimate. Thanks to all the volunteers who maintain the feeders. A different volunteer checks the feeders each day. Thanks also to the generous discount offered by the Urban Nature Store.

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary:  FOSS Steering Committee Meeting 

October 24, 2022

7:01 p.m., via Zoom Conferencing

FOSS PUMPKIN PARADE: Tuesday, November 1. Location: Traffic Circle next to South Parking Lot. Drop off: 5:30-6:30PM. Lighting 6:30-7:30PM. If possible, bring a glass jar (baby food, jam, etc.) and a candle. 

NEW TORONTO HOLIDAY MARKET, NOVEMBER 26th, HUMBER COLLEGE: Vendors, crafts (visit FOSS’s table), kids’ activities. See website for details.

>>https://www.lakeshoregrounds.ca/holiday-market<<

FOSS PHOTO EXHIBIT: Continuing through November 9th. Assembly Hall, Humber College. FOSS thanks all volunteers, participants and attendees for making this exhibit a great success.

AUSSIE FOOTBALL LOCKER MURAL: Now completed. Check it out. Football club expressed appreciation for FOSS’s involvement.

GREBE PLATFORMS: Removed for the season. FOSS thanks a member of the yacht club for help given during the removal process. FOSS volunteers will clean/paint and install the platforms next spring.

NEW POLLINATOR GARDEN PLANTING: City employees recently removed the black plastic from the pollinator garden (located south of the viewing platform) and added additional pollinator plants.

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

June 27th, 2022

7:06 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

PHOTO/ART EXHIBITION AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL: October 5-November 9. Multimedia: photos/paintings. Entry fee. Prizes. Sponsorship welcomed. Check FOSS website/social media for additional information.

SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL-SATURDAY, MAY 28: 10:00AM-2:00PM. Great turn out. Great weather. An overall great success. Thanks to all volunteers/participants. Consider being a volunteer at the 2023 event. Keep checking the FOSS website/Facebook page for future information.

DAMAGE TO PLANTINGS AT EAST SIDE OF “THE BOWL”: A presently unknown vandal recently destroyed some of the plantings completed by FOSS volunteers last September. Consultation with city representatives yielded no further information. FOSS has requested replacement plants for this site.

GOOD NEWS: After much human disturbance, Barn Swallows are nesting again in the area of the viewing stand and Cliff Swallows are back nesting on the water treatment plant. Employees of the water treatment plant have become most supportive/protective of both the swallows and a nearby Killdeer’s nest.

LONG BRANCH TREE FEST: Scheduled for Sunday, September 25 from 12-4PM. Marie Curtis Park. Details on their website at: < https://longbranchtreefest.ca/>

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

March 28th, 2022

7:04 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

COL. SAM SMITH PARK CLEANUP (18TH Anniversary): Sunday, April 24, 9AM-3PM. Garbage bags/water provided. Bring your own gloves/boots. Dress for the weather.

Prizes/Giveaways/Community Service Hours. Meet on the path east of the Lake Shore Yacht Club.

 

GREBE PLATFORMS: The platforms are being readied and are projected to be in the water before the end of April.

PLANTING EVENT-MAY 11: The City has organized a planting of native species dedicated to restoring the lower portion of the woodlot north of the pond-the southern section of the “Dogwoods”. FOSS was allocated seven places for this project. A call for committed volunteers was issued on FOSS’s social media channels.

SPRING BIRD FESTIVAL-SATURDAY, MAY 28: 10:00AM-2:00PM. Check the FOSS website/social media for details.

PHOTO/ART EXHIBITION AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL: October 5-November 9. Multimedia: photos/paintings. Entry fee. Prizes. Sponsorship welcomed. Details to be announced soon—check FOSS website/social media.

GRAFFITI AT AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL STORAGE FACILITY: The facility has become an unsightly graffiti-covered mess. FOSS is working with the football club to address this issue. UPDATE: Councillor Grimes has reached out to Street Art TO re: the provision of a suitable mural. Completion date not yet available.

FILMING CREW AT COL. SAM: FOSS greatly appreciates the respect for the environment shown by a crew that recently completed a location “shoot” for the Handmaid’s Tale at Col. Sam. Rather than using salt on slippery paths, they graciously hand chipped the ice! They also provided FOSS with a generous donation that will help to fund projects such as the Spring Bird Festival. FOSS was impressed with their consultative approach and offers its sincere thanks.

COYOTE UPDATE: There is no truth to the rumor that a “ginger” coyote was removed from Col. Sam. The coyotes will be denning soon and become more secretive and less visible at this time. Another coyote has been observed with a limp. Authorities are aware of this animal and have deemed it to be OK

.

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

 

 

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

January 24, 2022

7:01 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

SAVING THE WILDWOOD: FOSS is in the process of finalizing details with respect to this project. All reports must include the date and time observations were made. Keep checking the web site for updates.

<<https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/>>

The Wildwood refers to the last remaining treed area located on the west side of Colonel Sam Smith Drive. It is an oasis for wildlife—feathered, furred and flowering. FOSS, desiring to keep the area wild and protect it from development, has begun to document the vast variety of insects, birds, mammals, and plants found there. Records kept on iNaturalist, eBird and paper are priceless. Your help is needed. Please volunteer.

 

COYOTE CONCERNS: FOSS indicated its concern about unwanted human interference (harassment/feeding) of the park’s coyotes. As a result, the city has recently erected new informational signs and there is hope they are having a positive effect. There are two by-law officers on patrol as well. It is illegal to feed coyotes (and wildlife in general). Contact 311 to report any such activities. The official policy with regard to Col. Sam’s coyotes is “watchful/waiting”.

 

WINTER BIRD FEEDERS: The winter bird feeding project is, once more, a great success. FOSS has purchased 100 pounds of bird seed and the Urban Nature Store has graciously donated an additional 100 pounds. FOSS (and the birds) would like to thank them for their generosity. The feeders offer excellent opportunities for photographing birds and photographers are encouraged to submit their images to the FOSS web site for posting.

 

MORRISON STREET ROAD END: There has been some concern that the city is considering selling this property to a nearby resident. Historically, this location (important to birders) was proposed as a more welcoming park entrance. FOSS and CCFEW are working together to have the responsibility for “street ends” and this entrance transferred to the city’s Parks Department. Contact Councillor Grimes’ office to go on record with any concerns you may have about this matter.

 

GRAFFITI AT AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL STORAGE FACILITY: The facility has become an unsightly graffiti-covered mess. FOSS is working with the football club to address this issue.

ICE FISHING HUTS: Ice fishing huts have been observed at Col. Sam. One was erected adjacent to a beaver lodge and a fire was burning nearby. The huts are legal, but may not remain overnight. Fires in the park are illegal. By-law offices were to speak to the offenders. Please report any infractions to 311.

 

FOSS E-TRANSFER FEATURE: In an attempt to reduce the amount of junk mail received in the FOSS e-Transfer account, the “@” symbol will be replaced with the word “at” on the web page <<fosspark4 at gmail.com>>. When actually sending a message, simply replace “at” with the “@” sign.

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting

November 22, 2021

7:01 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

PUMPKIN PARADE: FOSS’s second annual Pumpkin Parade was deemed a great success. The event enjoyed great weather, 112 pumpkins and large numbers of smiling and enthusiastic visitors. Last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID, but this year’s parade tripled the number of pumpkins on display. Will there be 200 in 2022? Thank you to all who attended. A special thanks goes out to everyone who shared their pumpkins.

Check out the FOSS website for photos and a video of the event: https://www.friendsofsamsmithpark.ca/

FOSS BIRDFEEDER PROJECT: FOSS will once again erect birdfeeders around the skating track at Col. Sam. A big thank you to the six dedicated individuals who have already volunteered to monitor and fill the feeders.

SAVING THE WILDWOOD: The Wildwood refers to the last remaining treed area located on the west side of Colonel Sam Smith Drive. It is an oasis for wildlife—feathered, furred and flowering. FOSS, desiring to keep the area wild and protect it from development, has begun to document the vast variety of insects, birds, mammals, and plants found there. Records kept on iNaturalist, eBird and paper are priceless. FOSS asks all those who agree with the need to save this site to keep watching the FOSS website for more details about how you can participate. Your help is needed. Please volunteer.

COYOTE CONCERNS: There is a problem with people who feed coyotes at Col. Sam. Police will not respond unless an “incident” occurs. One of the three animals present in the park has become very friendly and is, at times, mistaken for a dog. There is great concern that this particular animal is becoming habituated and that, in future, it may approach visitors in a quest for food. If no food is produced, the animal may bite. FOSS has contacted 311 and will confer with a park by-law officer. PLEASE: DO NOT FEED THE COYOTES (a fed coyote is a dead coyote) and report any illegal feeding to 311.

Toronto’s by-laws state the following:

The Parks bylaw (TMC Chapter 608, Article II 608-36) prohibits the feeding or attempt to feed or deposit food for consumption by wildlife. No person shall kill, attempt to kill, maim, injure, trap or disturb wildlife in City parklands. No person shall fish in an area posted to prohibit fishing.

 

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

 

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting                                         

October 25, 2021

7:01 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

PUMPKIN PARADE: FOSS’s second annual Pumpkin Parade is scheduled for November 1. Bring your carved pumpkin and candle to the  drop off point located at the traffic circle by the south parking lot between 5:30 and 6:30PM. Lighting will be between 6:30-7:30PM. Pumpkins will be composted after the event.

FOSS WEBSITE: The e-transfer feature of the Membership section on the FOSS website has been streamlined and is working well. The security question has been eliminated.

COL. SAM SMITH PARK TREE PLANTING (UPDATE): The city has now erected protective fencing around the recent planting that is located along the eastern side of the Large Bowl.

Park users are asked to notify FOSS if they observe any interference/destruction at this site.

 

GREBE PLATFORMS: FOSS’s four grebe platforms have been retrieved from the marina and are now being stored at the yacht club. When dry, they will be cleaned of zebra mussel accumulation and any necessary repairs will be made. Thanks to both Brian and Matthew Keaveney as well as to the yacht club for the use of their facilities.

 

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

Summary: FOSS Steering Committee Meeting       

September 27, 2021

7:02 PM, Via Zoom Video Conferencing

 

COL. SAM SMITH PARK TREE PLANTING: On September 25th four FOSS Steering Committee members joined a group of enthusiastic volunteers working under the auspices of Green Toronto to successfully plant a variety of shrubs (including witch hazel, ninebark and dogwood) along the eastern side of the Large Bowl. The exercise was initially suggested by FOSS and aims to provide greatly needed food and protective cover for migrating birds. FOSS thanks all the volunteers and City of Toronto staff that made this event possible.

Park users are asked to notify FOSS if they observe any interference/destruction at this site.

 

LONG BRANCH TREE FEST (Marie Curtis Park): Sunday, October 3. 12-4PM. COVID Safety Protocols in effect. Children’s activities, nature walks, live music and much more. For additional information, refer to www.longbranchtreefest.ca.

 

Visit the FOSS display table where the theme is TREE SWALLOWS. Learn more about these beautiful birds and FOSS’s efforts to protect them and to encourage their nesting at Col. Sam. Pick up a Tree Swallow button or hat. Learn more about other FOSS projects such as winter birdfeeders along the skating trail and Red-necked Grebe nesting platforms in the marina.

 

Become a FOSS member. Pick up an information brochure/membership application.

Visitors are asked to notify the police at 416 808-2200 for drug/fireworks infractions and 311 for trash build-up. Any problems reported to 311 are greatly strengthened when accompanied with a photo.

 

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