We are fortunate to go to school in the heart of urban Toronto. Recently our green industries class had an opportunity to explore the biodiversity in our area, and Amanda Gomm from LEAF came to our school to share her knowledge.
Milne Hollow is located along the Don Valley, sitting between the edges of Scarborough and North York. Surrounded by a major highway in what is a former industrial site, it is one of the most magnificent examples of how diverse our canopy can be. When I first arrived I was struck by the way it stood beaming with colour, so full of life. This is no accident – the city of Toronto has been working to renaturalize this site for over a decade and in 2011 LEAF signed on to help them achieve their goals.
I want to share a story with LEAF blog readers. It’s the story of how two relaxed keeners planted a native butterfly garden, repurposed downtown grown trees (cleared for development) into seating and planted the next generation of canopy at our local library. It’s the story of seizing the potential of a lawn and creating a shady outdoor reading room.
Our Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens (UFDGs) offer an amazing opportunity to enhance our urban forest and beautify available green spaces across Toronto. They have created partnerships amongst organizations and fostered a sense of communal ownership around our natural areas. Our garden at Spadina Station – Walmer Exit has been a perfect example of seeing these opportunities in action.
As urban dwellers, we often take tree canopies for granted, or assume that the grey concrete we work in is just the way life is. The hidden treasure of this city is in the people who take initiatives to bring positive change.