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Protecting Warden Woods
Taylor Massey Project

March, 2008: The Taylor Massey Project is pleased to announce the release of a major report entitled Protecting Warden Woods, which provides three over-arching recommendations, three key sub-recommendations, and 16 additional suggestions to protect this wonderfully diverse area for future generations.

The TMP began work leading to the report in June, 2005, based on concerns about invasive species in Warden Woods Park, poor management practices on lots abutting the park, and the potentially negative consequences of a massive re-development of lands immediately adjacent to Warden Woods.

Volunteer efforts in mapping the main ecological zones in the park were aided by the City of Toronto, which provided topological drawings. Following a presentation by the TMP to the City’s Transportation and Planning Committee, in 2006 the City hired a consultant to produce a professional, baseline environmental assessment of the park. Pending the production of that report, the TMP suspended its volunteer efforts, but re-started them once the City’s report was complete.

The TMP notes that support on this project from Parks, Forestry and Recreation was fantastic, and the report from their consultant provided an excellent inventory of both the historic and ecological dimensions of Warden Woods, as well as highlighting the challenges it faces.

This in turn allowed the TMP report to focus on solutions. Those solutions include three over-arching recommendations, three key sub-recommendations, and 16 additional suggestions. Over-arching recommendations and key sub-recommendations, and the organization with the perceived responsibility for each, are outlined in the chart below.

Over-arching Recommendations
1 The City should designate Warden Woods an Ecologically Significant Area and consider changing the name of the park to the Warden Woods Natural Heritage Reserve. City of Toronto
2 Parks, Forestry and Recreation should be directed to develop a Management Plan, with other City departments, the TRCA, and the community, for the long-term protection and enhancement of Warden Woods. City of Toronto
3 The Warden Woods Natural Heritage Reserve should be positioned as a vehicle to increase community involvement in the protection of the City's natural heritage and other environmental priorities, including the City's Wet Weather Flow Master Plan and the TRCA's Don River Watershed Plan, as well as through the creation of an organization to be called the Friends of Warden Woods. City of Toronto
Key Sub-recommendations
  3.1 Warden Woods should become a model area in which the City can establish a comprehensive watershed planning approach within the City's Wet Weather Flow Master Plan. This model can then be extended to the whole of the Taylor Massey sub-watershed and later to the whole of the Don watershed. City of Toronto
  3.2 Warden Woods should be identified as a Regeneration Concept Site in the forthcoming Don River Watershed Plan. TRCA
  3.3 The Taylor Massey Project should seek to bring local community-based groups together to discuss the creation of an organization to be called the Friends of Warden Woods. The TMP, local partners, City of Toronto

On the last item, the TMP is pleased to also report that it has already broached the subject of the creation of the Friends of Warden Woods with area neighbourhood associations that are currently partners of the TMP.

As cited in the report, “Even as we lead the call for the designation of Warden Woods as an ESA and a Natural Heritage Reserve, the TMP understands that it cannot be the sole, long-term voice for the Woods, and that success in protecting and enhancing the Woods, and in dealing with other environmental issues, will lie with an engaged community.”

We look forward to any comments, requests for more information, and/or discussing the report and its recommendations with our members, partners, the City, the TRCA, and other community-base organizations.

Click here to see Protecting Warden Woods.