• Join us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram

For immediate release

Media Release

EcoSpark launches new volunteer project with OTF grant to protect Toronto public greenspaces from invasive plant

Toronto—October 20, 2018

On Saturday, Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns presented EcoSpark with a plaque to mark the work done as a result of receiving a $45,700 grant from OTF in 2018. Over 30 volunteers were on site at Beechwood Wetland in East York testing an innovative technique to manage the invasive Phragmites plant with EcoSpark. The environmental charity launched this citizen science research project in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Park, Forestry & Recreation Division and Humber Arboretum. Joyce Chau, EcoSpark’s Executive Director, discussed this new project and its expected impact in the community.

Quotes:

“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support research for environmental protection is great news for the health of our parks and ravines. There are many in the community who will benefit from protecting natural areas along the picturesque Lower Don Valley Trail for the enjoyment of all.” – MPP Peter Tabuns, Toronto-Danforth

"We are grateful to Ontario Trillium Foundation for their vital support of environmental stewardship in Toronto. With our partners, we can now provide citizen science training to manage the aggressive invasive Phragmites in community greenspaces.” – Joyce Chau, Executive Director, EcoSpark

Quick Facts:

  • EcoSpark is an environmental charity that empowers communities to take an active role in protecting and sustaining their local environment. To date, EcoSpark has worked with over 85,000 people from across Southern Ontario. ecospark.ca
  • Phragmites, or common reed, is an invasive species invading Ontario, taking over sensitive wetlands and persisting in stands larger than soccer fields in Toronto.
  • This research project takes place within the City of Toronto greenspaces, including the Beechwood Wetland located on the Lower Don Trail.
  • Volunteers in the City of Toronto’s Community Stewardship Program help to care for natural areas across the city, with teams that meet weekly from April to September. Project volunteers help manage the invasive plant.
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects this year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

MPP Peter Tabuns presenting OTF plaque to EcoSpark Executive Director Joyce Chau at Beechwood Wetland.

 

Photo Caption: MPP Peter Tabuns presented an OTF plaque to EcoSpark Executive Director Joyce Chau at Beechwood Wetland for a grant to support invasive species research.

 

 

Phragmites researcher Lynn Short trains volunteers to remove invasive Phragmites in Toronto greenspaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Caption: Phragmites researcher Lynn Short trains volunteers to remove invasive Phragmites in Toronto greenspaces.

EcoSpark Phragmites volunteers at Beechwood Wetland.

 

 

Photo caption: Steve and Laila Abrams volunteered with EcoSpark's invasive species research project at Beechwood Wetland, along the Lower Don Trail in Toronto.

 

For more information:

Joyce Chau, EcoSpark: (647) 258-3280 x 2005, joyce@ecospark.ca

Ontario Trillium Foundation