Monday, 1 November 2021

The Footbridge over the Creek is now wheelchair semi-friendly again!

One of the main issues that remained, following all the recent improvements identified by DASSP, was the fact that the Creek footbridge, between the narrow path into the park from the schools and the playing Oval, had become unfriendly for those using wheelchairs.

Over time, the soil on either side had fallen away from the cement, like the issue previously fixed at the Pavillion.

The good news is that the problem has successfully been remediated, and it is now safe for those in power chairs.  

The bad news is that for those in manual chairs, the steep slope on the east side of the footbridge requires an extension of the handrails on either side, or a correction on the degree of incline into/from the Oval.

We are following up on that issue and hope to have it remediated in a timely fashion.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Lack of Bat Boxes in Sam Smith Park

In a recent meeting with Janette, Kaylyn and Monica of  Green Toronto, DASSP asked about installing some Bat boxes around Sam Smith Park.

Park visitors may have noticed, especially at dusk, that the Brown Bat population in SSP has crashed heavily over the last few years, likely due to "White Nose Syndrome" which is a fatal disease to the species.

DASSP is hoping that Green Toronto can assist us with this worthwhile endeavour and Janette agreed to reach out to TRCA and Parks staff to determine what is feasible! 

DASSP has also suggested that if feasible, TRCA could do a pilot study on the success of the project, if it does go forward.  

Our homeless bats await !

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Planning for the SSP Spring Planting in May 2022

DASSP attended a meeting with FOSS and Toronto Forestry on Friday, locating sites for the upcoming Spring planting event to be conducted in mid-May of next year.

After a review of some of the locations near the dogwood patch, where FOSS will be doing some planting, DASSP and Toronto Forestry agreed that the SE fringe of the area near Warbler Woods, would be a great location.

The area selected is far enough from the main path, to be safe during Covid times, is flat, and is also close enough for Seniors and wheelchair users to navigate.

DASSP is looking forward to participating, and very pleased that this time, we were included in the planning process. 

Below is a picture of the accessible area selected by DASSP, for next year's planting;

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Sam Smith Park - Green Toronto inclusive Planting event was a great success!

On Saturday the 25th, DASSP participated in the Planting event, sponsored by Green Toronto.

Walt, along with, Frank and Sue, a pair of able-bodied members of DASSP, were asked to plant 3 different, bird friendly, native shrubs along the North Eastern edge of the large bowl, behind The Gatehouse.

We planted ninebark, witch hazel and and dogwood, and the timing was great, as a few hours later Mother Nature graced us with a rainstorm!

Many thanks to Janette Harvey and her friends at Green Toronto, for a well organized, and Covid distanced event! Participants were limited by pre-registration and completion of Covid assessments and forms.

Let's hope that this time next year, the birds are as happy as everyone at DASSP and FOSS were!

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Inclusive Tree Planting confirmed for September 25th by Green Toronto

Janette Harvey of Green Toronto confimed to DASSP today, that the upcoming event at Sam Smith Park will be inclusive for Disabled and Seniors! 

Due to Covid protocols, only a limited number of participants are able to attend, and the slots have already been reserved for this year. 

Additionally, Green Toronto also confirmed that planning for the yearly events, starting in 2022 will also include feedback from both DASSP and Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS) on site selection so that accessible sites are located and approved. 

Many thanks to Janette, and all the folks at Green Toronto for listening and rapidly responding to the important issues which DASSP had outlined. 

Let the trees take root!

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

September 25th - Inclusive Tree Planting site selection at SSP, by Urban Forestry and Green Toronto.

This morning DASSP had a meeting with Ray Vendrig of Toronto Urban Forestry, and Scott Laver of Green Toronto.

In the meeting DASSP outlined the issues regarding the lack of inclusivity for the upcoming Tree Planting at Sam Smith Park on Saturday, September 25th.

Ray and Scott outlined the process of site selection, as it exists now, and noted that DASSP had not been included the the original site selection onsite review which occurred with FOSS only, early this year.

We are assured that DASSP will be included in the site selection next year, to ensure that inclusive planting sites are chosen from now on.

DASSP outlined three (3) inclusive sites for this month's event. Two of the sites are flat and currently occupied by goldenrod, while the other is a previously used tree planting area beside the Pavillion.  The site will be selected next week during another meeting, and all three sites support bird life and migration, while paying attention to the creation of shade as well.

This year's tree planting for Disabled and Seniors, would unfortunately, be on a different site, from the one selected by FOSS.

The meeting culminated with a discussion on tweaking the actual yearly planning process, to ensure that DASSP is involved for SSP planting events, and that other Disabled and/or Senior groups are involved in events throughout Urban Toronto Green parks, to support the inclusive expansion of the valuable tree canopy in Toronto.

Urban Forestry and Green Toronto both stated that they support DASSP's goal of all Toronto Park events being inclusive for all Black, LGBTQ+, Disabled, Islamic, Senior, Aboriginal, etc., citizens !

Stay tuned for next week's update !