Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cedarvale Park Restoration

A former grassy ditch gets a makeover

I went to a planting last Sunday in Cedarvale Park. Cedarvale Park is just south of Eglinton West Subway station and sits atop the Spadina subway line. Most of the park is grassy field, underused except by dog walkers and a nearby cricket pitch. The location of the planting was a ditch formerly lined with grass. In the spring it fills with meltwater but is dry most of the summer.

This project was started by ex-city employee Trisha Kaplan-Freed who has since moved out to Vancouver Island. Her efforts to make the most of poor habitats like this in Toronto will be sorely missed. The ground is some of the worst digging I've encountered. Just underneath the grass the soil is heavily compacted and as hard as concrete. I expect that there will be a low survival rate unless these trees and shrubs are watered and tended for the first few years.

Still it is a worthwhile project. Hopefully in 5-10 years enough material will survive to start providing habitat for birds and small mammals. Perhaps I will make annual treks out here to check it's progress to see if my prediction holds true.

Schematic diagram of the project

Don Watcher manages to plant eight Eastern White Cedars (Thuja occidentalis) in hard packed soil.

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