Thursday, November 16, 2006

Crothers' Woods ESA

Crothers' Woods ESA designation (click to enlarge)

People often ask where Crothers' Woods is in the Don. This means different things to different people but to the TRCA it is a fairly small wooded area extending from the Bayview extension northeast to just beyond Loblaws on Millwood Road.

In 1995 they did a study of the area and based on the quality of the habitat, designated it an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA). This designation is a purely scientific one, it has no legal force to changing municipal zoning or affect any other activities. However it is something that many people have latched onto as a way labelling an area to try and protect it. The Task Force has often referred to the Crothers' Woods ESA in its dealings with the city.

Crothers' Woods is designated as ESA 133. It was given the designation based on two points:
  • Criteria #5 – rare/endangered species,
  • Criteria #6 – exceptional high quality and/or diverse habitats and communities
The rare species are two sunflowers and a sedge; the high quality habitat refers to the forest and the diversity of tree species. If the ESA were updated today it would now include Butternut as an endangered species. This tree which grows in Crothers' Woods is fatally threatened by a fungus that attacks it.

If you want to read the full document (it's only 2 pages plus a map) you can find it online here. Reading this document will be good background material if you decide to attend the community meeting on Monday November 20 (see previous post).

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