The simplest and least expensive way to begin regeneration is with recreating habitat on the land. By planting with native trees and shrubs we create a place and food sources for breeding and migratory birds and mammals.
Tree plantings are being done all over the Watershed. In the Lower Don alone we have planted over 23,000 trees and shrubs in the past 4 years.
|We have planted with|
|School kids in the rain||Large corporations e.g.
Hudson's Bay Company
|On a frosty November day|
|The hard work is worth it! Four years later we have
spectacular growth at the south of Riverdale park where
there was once only a green desert on an old landfill.
The area in the middle has been planted in wild flowers and is fenced off for protection.
The next steps in terrestrial habitat regeneration will be:
|In the Fall of 1995 construction began on this project and was completed in the summer of 1996|
|From the Bloor Viaduct.
Piling up top soil for reuse.
|Digging up the dump site
for redistribution onsite
|The pond takes shape|
The objective is to bring back the sense of place and type of habitat that was here 200 years ago. The site is about 3 hectares (7 football fields). The name refers to springs that flowed into the valley near the site from the village of Chester. After 2 years of work, the marsh will be complete. In time we hope it will support
The site was
covered with 2 to 3 metres of landfill. The landfill was dumped
from the turn of the century until the 20's. It consists of ash
and household materials. Tests have shown no health hazard. Click
on the picture to to get a great orienation to the site.(82K JPEG)
There is now a large pond on the east side that
brings groundwater and runoff into the marsh as well a pond on
the west side. A variety of habitats have been created with
limited access to the east side ponds from the existing trail.
The west side pond has no access and will act as a refuge.
Projects are happening all through the watershed. This list is hard to keep up-to-date. If you don't see your favorite project here, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org preferably with a photograph or 2.
project underway in the Don is at the Brickworks site on Bayview
Avenue. Work started in the summer of 1995 and the first phase
was opened to the public in October of 1997. (54K JPEG)
Plans for the 40 acre site include preservation of buildings and machinery from a century of brickmaking, interpretation of the geologically important North Slope The first phase has already achieved significant habitat restoration in the quarry together with the redirection of Mud Creek to provide a wetland and improve water quality.
Brick making commenced in 1890. The bricks made here built many Toronto landmarks including Queen's Park, Casa Loma and Massey Hall. The complex of buildings and equipment represents a first-class industrial heritage site.
The process of extracting the clay, and later shale, to make Bricks exposed 445 million years of geological history. The North Slope was made internationally famous by Professor Coleman of the University of Toronto with a series of papers that started in 1913. He laid out the detailed history of the last interglacial period of about 100,000 years, from the deposits uncovered. Among the residents was the giant beaver whose presence has been confirmed by a fossil tooth.
Among the human residents of the area at the turn of the
Century was Ernest Thompson Seton (1860 -1946) who
had a cabin in Mud Creek. Among the stories he wrote was "Redruff,
The Story of the Don Valley Partridge" published in
In 1902, he organised the Woodcraft Indians, upon which the Boy Scout movement was later patterned. Random House Encyclopaedia 3rd edition
Naturalists and gardeners see the great potential for the
South facing quarry pit, protected from the winds, at the North
edge of the Carolinian zone.
© mark wilson 1998