Recent & Upcoming Toronto-Leaside Rotary Club Activities:
Rotary Ecosystem Education Program
Upcoming event 2017
Toronto Leaside Rotary Tree Planting
Moccasin Trail Park
Wednesday May 3, 2017
The 27th season of Tree Planting for the Toronto Leaside Rotary Club will take place on Wednesday May 3, 2017 at the Moccasin Trail Park. Students from Leaside High School, Eglinton School, Maurice Cody School, Bessborough School, St. Anselms Separate School and Thorncliffe Park School will be participating in the project.
Final Project Report December 20116
Prepared by: UFA Inc.
Alex Karney, Landscape Designer and Arborist
Stephen Smith, Program Director
Michael White, Education Director
Toronto Leaside Rotary Tree Planting
Moccasin Trail Park
Wednesday May 3, 2017
The Rotary Ecosystem Education Program is a partnership of the Toronto Rotary clubs whose areas are near the Don Valley. The program began in 1991 with a tree planting at E.T. Seton Park, next to the wetlands at the Ontario Science Centre. The program brings children from local schools to sites in and around the Don Valley to plant trees, shrubs and wildflowers on a site adopted by the club. Most sites are owned by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department and take several years of planting to be completed.
The Rotary Ecosystem Education Program is proud to announce the completion of our 26th successful season!
Five planting events were held in 2016 with participation from more than 340 elementary and high school students, and teachers. Turnout of Rotary members was also good, with at least 11 members attending the planting days. Like last year, there were no cancellations. All sites were approved by City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation staff in fall and winter of 2016. At the City’s request, locates were obtained prior to each planting to ensure there were no conflicts with existing utility lines.
Weather on planting days was generally sunny and warm, which was excellent for school participation. However, more active watering was necessary this year, both immediately after planting and throughout the spring and summer due a prolonged drought (June 2016 was reported to be the driest in 25 years). This was completed as needed by project staff.
This year’s stock included 1,055 plants altogether, including 215 trees, 504 shrubs, and 336 herbs or ferns. A higher proportion of ferns and herbs were planted at Todmorden Mills and Cummer Mills, as the proposed planting areas were ideal environments for particular species of ferns and herbs and already had a relatively high concentration of trees and shrubs. Shrubs were again used to fill spaces between trees in previous planting areas, most notably at Moccasin Trail, to increase density of woody plants and help create a more natural forest ecosystem.
This year’s planting results were excellent. Plenty of UFA staff were on each site for each event, and were able to have most sites planted, fully mulched, checked, watered, and cleaned up in one day. As in previous years, this saved time and money on follow-up labor. Planting quality was immediately and thoroughly checked by staff to maximize survival.
Periodic site visits and maintenance were undertaken throughout the spring and summer. Sites were also checked in the fall, with plantings looking healthy.
We continued to benefit from areas that City of Toronto Forestry crews cut and treated for us in winter 2013 at Todmorden Mills Park. This was a big help and we thank them for it. The open space created by removing invasive trees and shrubs was re-filled with native plants.
All planting events were supervised by two or more people that are trained and experienced in both planting and working with volunteers of various ages. Supervisors were given oral and written instructions prior to each event and Stephen Smith (Steve) visited each site during plantings to take pictures. Volunteers from the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve committee also helped to
supervise at Todmorden Mills.
Our equipment status has not changed since last year. It is all still being stored at our yard in Leaside.
- Shovels – All eighty-six are accounted for.
- First Aid Kits – There are two kits. We replenish the contents each year as they are used.
- Gloves – We have approximately one hundred pairs, plus many of our own.
- Rotary Banners – We still have eight banners, in good condition.
- Plastic Garbage Bags – We still have one full box to use as emergency raingear.
Project staff has maintained the sites to ensure the good health of the plantings and will continue to do so until the next planting season. Staff correct any poor planting quality on the same day or shortly after, and perform additional mulching and watering if needed. Sites are also cleaned after the planting of any garbage or items left behind by the students. Excess mulch is spread out to ensure a neat appearance for the public and to please the Parks Supervisor.
Other work is done later on the current and previous years’ sites, as available funding permits, such as:
-site inspections to look for insect and disease or animal damage, illegal dumping, or vandalism, and correct this damage if necessary
-garbage cleanup if there is an excessive amount
-checking and replacement of tree guards or mulch as necessary
-pruning of broken branches
-removal of competing trees, vines or shrubs if necessary
-report any illegal dumping or vandalism, or damage by Parks maintenance crews on the sites to City staff and deal with as necessary
As in previous years, we set up Rotary banners in prominent locations on our planting sites. Many people stopped to ask about the event, and all were supportive. If any clubs would like to use the banners for display at an event, please let us know. We also have a video which could be used to generate interest in new planting programs. If any clubs would like a copy, we can make one for you.
General Planting Notes
Trees and Shrubs: Weed growth was below average this year due to a very dry growing season but was still problematic on most sites to various degrees. We try to use the best mix of sizes and species for our plantings to get good results and withstand competition from other invasive plants. We used a mix of potted and bare-root trees and shrubs. The potted trees and shrubs cost more and can have better survival, but bare-root trees are easier to transport and can have good survival for hardy species. Potted plants can have problems later with circling roots, which will shorten their lifespan. For plantings later in May (and June in previous years) we exclusively use potted plants because of the hotter temperatures.
Mulch: Wood chip mulch was delivered to sites in advance, in coordination with local tree services. We mulch very generously to retain moisture and reduce the maintenance required. This works well even on weedy sites with poor soils. This strategy was especially important this year due to hot weather and dry planting conditions. Some excess mulch was present at the Todmorden planting, which was bagged and left for stewardship volunteers, and at Carstowe Road Lands, which was used for other restoration projects after current and previous plantings were mulched generously. Additional mulching was undertaken at Moccasin Trail by crews following the planting day, as we ran out before all the trees were properly mulched by the kids.
Portable Toilets: As in previous recent years, the City was not able to provide toilets for us at the sites, so we rented our own. All were delivered to the correct locations.
Site Preparation: No new site preparation was undertaken by City crews this past year.
Crew Instruction: Steve walked the sites with the supervisors before the kids’ arrival and showed them where everything was to be planted. They were also given written instructions to follow. Steve and Michael were present on the sites during the work days.
Staff visited all of the sites at least once a month throughout the growing season, last visiting them in November. We did not do any formal survival counts but overall survival is good on all of the sites, despite the extremely dry weather this year.
Planting Day Descriptions
1) Toronto Leaside Rotary Club – Moccasin Trail Park – May 4th, 2016
On a beautiful sunny day, students expanded the frontiers and filled in gaps of the 2013-2015 planting areas, located on man-made berms immediately east of the Don Valley parkway and south of the rainbow-painted bridge near Lawrence Avenue. There was a good turnout of 160 elementary and 25 high school students and adults, with no cancellations. Planting was on a warm and sunny day, beginning at 9:30 AM and finishing around 2:30 PM. All the stock was planted and mulched on the same day, and quality was checked by UFA crews. Participating schools were Leaside High, Eglinton, Maurice Cody, Northlea Public and Thorncliffe Park.
Rotary member Bob Barnett also took students and teachers on nature walks throughout the day. Teachers and parents commented that the day was fun and well-run. All stock was watered immediately after planting, and follow-up visits were performed throughout the spring and summer. All delivered wood chips were completely used up on the planting day, and some additional mulching was completed in the days immediately following the planting event.
After being taught proper planting techniques, students from Leaside High School supervised elementary school students from several schools, who were eager to learn.
Students gathering mulch in the later stages of the day.
Moccasin Trail Plant List:
Species Number Size
Red cedar 140 60cm
White spruce 60 50cm
Ninebark 40 60cm
Purple raspberry 50 40cm
Staghorn sumac 45 60cm
This is a very dry site, and we were concerned that the extended summer drought would impact planting survival. We were pleased to find that all were doing well.
June 1, 2016
Some of the recipients at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood office with their new dictionaries donated by Leaside Rotary Club.
Bob Chapman on behalf of Leaside Rotary Club presents a cheque for $1500 to Raess Ahmed for the Thorncliffe Soccer Club supporting the community soccer program.
Rotary Tree Planting – May 4th, 2016 –
Moccasin Trail Park
Wednesday May 4, 2016
The Rotary Ecosystem Education Program is a partnership of the Toronto Rotary clubs whose areas are near the Don Valley. The program began in 1991 with a tree planting at E.T. Seton Park, next to the wetlands at the Ontario Science Centre. The program brings children from local schools to sites in and around the Don Valley to plant trees, shrubs and wildflowers on a site adopted by the club. Most sites are owned by the city of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department and take several years of planting to be completed.
On Wednesday May 4, 2016, the Toronto Leaside Rotary Club organized a tree planting event with five (5) Leaside schools at the Moccasin Trail Park. The schools were:
Leaside High School
Maurice Cody School
Northlea Public School
Thorncliffe Park Public School
213 students from these schools and a number of teachers and volunteers participated, Here is what was planted.
The day event went very well and everyone seemed pleased with the result.
A review from Leaside High School:
On Wednesday May 4, 2016, Leaside students were fortunate enough to take part in tree planting at the Moccasin Trail Park with the Toronto Leaside Rotary Club. As members of Leaside’s Eco team we were able to plant a variety of trees which will help improve the sustainability of the environment in which we live. Through this, we were able to gain a further understanding of the importance of a healthy and diverse environment. In addition, we learned how to properly plant and care for trees from the staff at the park. Being on Eco-team has allowed us to be more open-minded about our actions that can affect the environment. Being able to work with younger students has also allowed them to learn and understand the importance of our earth while having an enjoyable time. We believe that through this event, many were able to obtain a new insight and perhaps develop a new hobby/liking towards tree planting. This event has helped our eco-team grow and work as one, improving our teamwork and leadership. Overall, this opportunity has definitely opened our eyes to new exciting projects/opportunities that will help sustain and improve our environment.
Eco-team, Leaside High School
District 7070 – Trump AIDS Poker walk – April 30th, 2016
Subject: Poker Walk for HIV/AIDS
On Saturday, April 30,2016 the Leaside Rotary Team of 8 plus joined over 20 clubs in the 5km Poker Walk for HIV/AIDS at the Beach.
Over $30,000 was raised by Rotary.
Leaside Rotary Community Corn Roast – Sunday, September 15th, 2013
Leaside Rotary Community Corn Roast Sponsors – 2013
Rotary Tree Planting – Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
District 7070 – Trump AIDS Poker walk – April 27th, 2013
19th Annual Leaside Rotary Community Corn Roast – September 16th, 2012