Thursday, May 31, 2007

Planting and Japanese Knotweed galore

Planting on the hillside

Murky Sanctuary pond

The stewardship season at Riverdale officially started on Tuesday. Quite a few people showed up, I would say at least a dozen, which was good because we had some planting to do. The Riverdale site is mostly on slopes and that's where most of the plantings take place This makes things somewhat more complicated so the more people who show up, the better.

We planted Red Oak, Eastern White Pine, Dogwood and Eastern Hemlock.

Eastern Hemlock

Since so many people showed up, the planting was all done in less than an hour, so the rest of the time was spent removing Japanese Knotweed for the most part.
Later, the team had the pleasure of observing wood ducks in one of the ponds. Unfortunately, they were too far to take a good picture, but we observed them with binoculars.

The pond itself is looking a bit clearer than before, now that the aerator is on every night. This device was installed last year to increase the level of oxygen in the ponds.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Stewardship starting next week

This is a new blog for the Riverdale Farm Community Stewardship team organized by Green Toronto. I was part of this team in 2006 and I will post items throughout the summer to talk about the various activities that will take place. Here's a sample of the kind of activities that the stewards might take part in.
In August 2006, the team took part in a monitoring session of the sanctuary pond to study the water quality of the site. The study involved taking samples from the pond and collecting insects from these samples.We worked with members of Citizens' Environment Watch, which organizes community-based ecological monitoring and stewardship programs. They use benthic inverterbrates, or "water bugs" as biological indicators to assess water quality. In order to collect these samples, we had to get into the pond wearing hip waders and using nets to try to pick up as many "bugs" as possible.