ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PICKERING

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1 ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PICKERING 2011 Annual Report Environmental Stewardship Pickering is a collaborative community committee that hosts environmental events in the City of Pickering. This annual report outlines our events throughout We actively engaged over 1,400 local residents in 18 environmental activities.

2 Environmental Stewardship Pickering A N N U A L R E P O R T Environmental Stewardship Pickering Environmental Stewardship Pickering (ESP) is a collaborative committee that works together with the community to organize environmental events and activities. These events and activities provide leadership, support and build awareness of environmental stewardship in the City of Pickering. Our ESP partnership includes the in-kind and financial support of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, City of Pickering, Durham Sustain Ability (DSA), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Pickering East Shore Community Association (PESCA), Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and Pickering residents. Throughout 2011, Environmental Stewardship Pickering organized and participated in 18 events and engaged 1412 local residents. Highlights include the 3 rd Annual Environmental Leadership Forum, the 2 nd Annual Environmental Volunteer Expo and the Bicentennial Butterfly Festival. Events and Activities Pickering Seedy Saturday February 5 th, 2011 This is an annual event hosted by the Pickering Museum Village Bloomers and Britches Gardening Club. ESP representatives set up a display to share information about gardening with native plants, pesticide free lawn care, and gardening to attract birds. Participating in the event provided a great opportunity to connect with the 80 participants who were actively engaged at our booth and share information about upcoming ESP events. 3 rd Annual Environmental Leadership Forum - March 5 th, 2011 ESP hosts an annual Environmental Leadership Forum each spring. The purpose of the forum is to get the residents of Pickering involved and informed about environmental initiatives in their neighbourhood. In 2011, we had 87 participants attend the forum, which was our maximum registration. Steve Hounsell, of the Ontario Biodiversity Council, was the keynote speaker. He presented on the State of Biodiversity: A Call for Action. The participants then attended morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The sessions included: Native Birds of Prey Wild Ontario Monitoring Urban Forests Toronto and Region Conservation Native Bees and their Habitats York University Play and Learning in the Outdoor Classroom Evergreen Tree Identification and Maintenance Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) Native Wildflowers and Invasive Species Grow Wild! Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Page 1

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4 Pollinator Workshop April 4 th, 2011 A presentation was made to the 47 th Pickering Guides. The purpose was to teach the guides about native bees and other pollinators. After the presentation, the Guides made native bee habitat structures to install in their backyards. Twenty-nine Girl Guides participated in the presentation and activity. Seaton Trail Hike with Hillside Outdoor Education Centre April 19 th, 2011 An Earth Day public hike was developed and led in collaboration with the Hillside Outdoor Education Centre. Heritage Park Public School attended the hike, which took place along the Seaton Trail. The group also made bee nesting habitat structures that were installed along the trail during the hike. Twenty-eight students and four adults took part. Vertical Vegetables Workshop April 26 th, 2011 Ken Brown is a local gardener with a passion for gardening. During his workshop, Vertical Vegetables, he inspired residents to grow non-typical vegetable gardens in small spaces, even including in pots on a veranda. Participants learned that gardening is accessible for everyone from a suburban home-owner to an apartment dweller. This was a very popular workshop with 54 participants. Gorgeous Garden Workshop May 5 th, 2011 The Gorgeous Garden workshop focused on native wildflowers and how to use them in the backyard. Lorraine Johnson was the presenter and instructed participants on the benefits of native plants and how to choose the best plants for your soil type and conditions. Lorraine is a local speaker who has written many books including, 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants. Thirty-six people attended the workshop, which was held at the Petticoat Creek Community Centre. Lush Lawn Workshop May 14 th, 2011 Cathy Wall, the Product Manager at Quality Seeds in Vaughan, is an expert on creating lush lawns the natural way. She led workshop participants through the types of native grass seed that would produce healthier, more eco-friendly lawns. She also discussed how to deter pests naturally. Thirty participants came out to the Pickering Recreation Complex to take part. Take Pride in Pickering April 30 th, 2011 Each spring, Ontario Power Generation, City of Pickering and Toronto and Region Conservation organize Take Pride in Pickering Day. This year s event was a tree planting at Alex Robertson Park, helping to naturalize the area around Hydro Marsh. ESP contributed to the purchasing of native trees. The City of Pickering provided a commemorative oak tree to celebrate Pickering s 200 th Anniversary. Over 250 volunteers planted 650 trees and shrubs, which was a great turnout to help put so many trees in the ground. Page 3

5 Dunbarton Pollinator Garden Planting May 10 th, 2011 A pollinator garden was established as part of the outdoor classroom at Dunbarton High School. The Environmental Club and two very active teachers helped with the planning and execution of the garden. There were 25 shrubs and 60 native plants provided by ESP and 100 other plants donated from community members. Fifteen students and eight parents/teachers volunteered their time to put the plants in the ground. The Dunbarton High School students and teacher are planning on expanding the garden in spring Western Gateway Planting June 8 th, 2011 In early June, the City of Pickering and TRCA hosted a tree planting event at the Western Gateway on Bella Vista Drive as part of Rouge Days. Rouge Days is a compilation of several different events held around the Rouge watershed that celebrate this special region. The Western Gateway is one of the only easily accessible areas of the Rouge in Pickering, so it was the perfect location to get a school group involved in the Rouge Days celebrations. The Grade 5 and 6 classes from Rosebank Road Public School walked to the park and planted 80 native trees and shrubs. Tuesdays on the Trail: The Pollinators! July 5 th, 2011 This very popular summer program is organized by OPG as a way to get local children involved in different educational activities during the summer. Toronto and Region Conservation has collaborated with OPG on this event for six years. This Tuesday on the Trail activity focused on identifying local pollinators. It was held at Alex Robertson Park. There were 250 children that took part, the most participants to date for this event. Tuesdays on the Trail: Animal Candid Camera August 9 th, 2011 The second Tuesdays on the Trail was a children s photography program. The participants were taught basic camera techniques and learned about the different animals they might find in the park. The 24 participants were then given disposable cameras and asked to do a scavenger hunt around Alex Robertson Park. Page 4

6 Bicentennial Butterfly Festival September 10 th, 2011 To celebrate the City of Pickering s Bicentennial year, a festival to educate residents about butterflies and pollinators was organized. To commemorate the occasion, 200 monarch butterflies were released at Alex Robertson Park. Approximately 100 of the released monarchs were tagged as part of the Monarch Watch Program. There were 210 people in attendance, which exceeded our participation expectations. Other activities included: o Butterfly tagging o Wildflower planting o Native bee habitat structure building o Seed paper painting o Face painting o First Nation Butterfly Dance demonstration Page 5

7 Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up September 17 th, 2011 This event is a national clean-up effort that is organized by the Vancouver Aquarium. Every year during the third week in September, groups and volunteers are encouraged to clean-up one of their local shorelines. The 2011 site that was chosen was Rotary Frenchman s Bay West Park at the south end of West Shore Boulevard in Pickering. There were 22 participants who collected 15 bags of garbage. Some interesting items that were found by the volunteers included: a coconut, plastic lawn chairs and a toothbrush. Page 6

8 Gorgeous Gardens: Fall Edition Workshop September 28 th, 2011 The fall edition of the Gorgeous Gardens workshop focused on how to put your garden to bed for the winter. An awards ceremony for the City of Pickering s Pickering Blooms gardening program was also held. Ken Brown, a local gardener, presented actions that residents could take before the winter to have a productive spring garden. In the second half of the workshop, Ken talked about the award winning Pickering Blooms gardens. Awards were handed out to the winners. This event was well attended with 56 participants. Take Pride in Pickering October 15 th, 2011 This was the second Take Pride in Pickering tree planting event at Alex Robertson Park in There were 650 trees and shrubs planted in the south end of the park to extend the naturalized space in that area. One hundred and twenty volunteers attended, which included local scouts groups and Pickering residents. ESP Round Table November 5 th, 2011 To help encourage networking and discussions between Pickering environmental groups, ESP organized a round table event. The 13 participants included the exhibitors/organizations that were hosting displays at the Environmental Volunteer Expo. The ideas and concepts from the round table will be taken into consideration for 2012 ESP events and activities. Environmental Volunteer Expo November 5 th, 2011 The second Environmental Volunteer Expo changed locations this year to Petticoat Creek Community Centre and brought out 54 participants. This event is a networking event that brings together local organizations who are looking for volunteers to assist with their events and activities. The Expo showcases these organizations and connects the public with the environmental volunteer opportunities that they offer in the Pickering community. Thirteen organizations exhibited volunteer opportunities. Due to participant feedback, the next volunteer expo will be held in the spring of Page 7

9 Event Summary Event Location Date Participants Pickering Seedy Saturday Pickering Recreation Complex February 5 th 80 3 rd Annual Environmental Leadership Forum Pickering Civic Complex March 5 th th Pickering Guides Pollinator Workshop St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School April 4 th 29 Seaton Trail Hike Seaton Trail April 19 th 32 Vertical Vegetables East Shore Community Centre April 26 th 54 Take Pride in Pickering Alex Robertson Park April 30 th 250 Gorgeous Gardens Petticoat Creek Community Centre May 5 th 56 Dunbarton Pollinator Plant Garden Planting Dunbarton High School May 10 th 23 Lush Lawn Workshop Pickering Recreation Complex May 14 th 30 Western Gateway Planting Bella Vista Drive June 8 th 22 Tuesdays on the Trail: The Pollinators! Tuesdays on the Trail: Animal Candid Camera Alex Robertson Park July 5 th 250 Alex Robertson Park August 9 th 24 Bicentennial Butterfly Festival Alex Robertson Park September 10 th 210 Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up Rotary Frenchman s Bay West Park September 17 th 22 Gorgeous Garden: Fall Edition Workshop Pickering Civic Complex September 28 th 56 Take Pride in Pickering Alex Robertson Park October 15 th 120 ESP Round Table Petticoat Creek Community Centre November 5 th 13 Environmental Volunteer Expo Petticoat Creek Community Centre Total Number of Participants November 5 th Page 8

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