Tree Planting & Stewardship
Tree planting, stewardship and trail building opportunities are available spring, summer and fall. These programs are open to anyone 16 years of age and older and are usually one-day opportunities to get your hands dirty and contribute to the City’s tree canopy goals and healthy natural environment.
How to Apply
- Work with nature and the city.
- Help beautify gardens.
- Learn more about the wide variety of plants that grow at the farm.
- Get in touch with the natural environment and enjoy beautiful settings.
- Meet new people, gain new friendships and network within the community.
- Gain experience, leadership and interpersonal skills.
- Be challenged while spending time outdoors.
- Acquire documented volunteer hours (if requested).
- Receive recognition for your participation.
- Learn about: native trees; shrubs; herbaceous plants; invasive species; plant management; ecological monitoring and more.
- Participate in additional training workshops and learn about: benthic monitoring; pollinator and butterfly identification; conservation and more.
- Learn about sustainable trail design, including slope, drainage and user experience (Crothers Woods only).
- Attend required orientation(s).
- Abide by any City of Toronto policies or procedures.
- Always be respectful.
- Come prepared to work.
- Don’t disturb the wildlife.
- Leave no trace.
- Stay on official trails.
- Voice any concerns.
- Leave your pets at home.
2017 Stewardship Sites and Dates
|Crothers Woods||Monday||6 – 8 pm|
|Don Valley Brick Works Park||Monday||6 – 8 pm|
|Beechwood Wetland||Tuesday||6 – 8 pm|
|Nordheimer Ravine||Tuesday||6 – 8 pm|
|Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat||Wednesday||6 – 8 pm|
|Riverdale Park East||Wednesday||6 – 8 pm|
|Milne Hollow||Thursday||10 – Noon|
Beechwood Wetland is located along the Lower Don Trail, near Broadview Avenue and O’Connor Drive. The area was identified as an ideal location for restoration due to the potential for significant improvement to both land and aquatic habitat quality. This restoration project demonstrates the enormous value of wetlands, particularly in an urban environment. Interpretive signage, tours and community participation contribute to this site’s educational value.
Located in the Don River Valley, Crothers Woods contains a unique forest habitat with approximately 10 kilometres of natural surface trails running through it. From these trails, you can observe native vegetation and wildlife, as well as enjoy a hike or mountain bike ride in the heart of East York.
Don Valley Brick Works Park
Located in the Lower Don River watershed, Don Valley Brick Works Park is a shining example of the power of ecological restoration work. This former industrial site now contains a number of different habitat types, including wildflower meadows, woodlands, wetlands, and steep cliff faces. The City of Toronto has established a network of trails throughout the site so that visitors can enjoy the diversity of plant and animal life that now flourishes in this park.
Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat
The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat (HBBH) is an ecological restoration project which provides critical habitat for a variety of native butterfly species, including the Monarch butterfly. Located in Humber Bay Park East along the Waterfront Trail in Toronto’s west end, HBBH incorporates a diversity of plant species and physical features known to support butterflies throughout their life cycles.
Located at the south-east corner of Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway, Milne Hollow is the northern gateway to the Charles Sauriol Conservation Reserve in the floodplains of the East Don Watershed. This peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city is close to the Rainbow Bridge which is easily spotted when heading north on the Don Valley Parkway. With parking available off of Lawrence Avenue East, and acting as an access point for the East Don Trail, it’s easy for visitors, cyclists, and pedestrians to enjoy this urban oasis.
The Nordheimer Ravine runs south-east from St. Clair Avenue West near Bathurst past the south end of Sir Winston Churchill Park to Roycroft Park. This stretch of ravine parkland is a quiet natural environment park where people walk their dogs, jog or go for leisurely strolls, and enjoy the forest around them. This area contains one of the finest stands of old oak trees in the city.
Riverdale Park East
This 18-hectare park near Danforth Avenue and Broadview Avenue contains many recreational facilities, but also includes a naturalized area at the north end of the park. Recreational trails running through the park provide a perfect way to view the native vegetation and wildlife that now call Riverdale Park East home.
Planting Day Tips
- Please wear comfortable clothing and sturdy close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Bring water in a reusable container you can take home with you. Help make this a litterless event!
- Remember to wear sunscreen.
- Gloves and shovels are provided.
- Plantings happen rain or shine but not in thunderstorms. Please dress for the weather.
- Most of our sites do not have permanent washroom facilities.
- If you are a student looking for volunteer hours, please remember to bring your paperwork with you to be signed by a site lead.
Drop in, bring your green thumb and join other event volunteers in assisting staff with a variety of gardening activities.
We need your help preparing beds, planting annuals, weeding, deadheading, watering, and edging.
Riverdale Farm is a scenic 7.5 acres of wooded areas, with ponds and butterfly-herb-flower-vegetable gardens located in the heart of the downtown community of Cabbagetown.
Meet us at the Drive Shed (first building on the left just inside the Winchester Street entrance) every Wednesday, 4-6 p .m. (May 10 to October 25, 2017) and Sundays 9:30-11:30 a.m. (May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 17, October 15, 2017).
Dress comfortably, bring a hat & water bottle. Tools will be provided.
Note: For the health and safety of all the farm animals, please leave your pets at home, leave bikes and strollers outside the farm gates, don’t touch or feed the animals onsite and remember only staff are permitted to touch or work with the animals.
The City developed a Tree Planting Strategy and implementation plan focusing on private-public partnerships to help reach the City’s target of 40 percent tree canopy cover.
This Strategy came about from the Forest Management Plan.
To learn more about how you can help the City meet the canopy goals, visit Tree Planting.