THE FRIENDS RECEIVE GREEN LEADER AWARD FROM THE CITY

Green Leader Award Presented to the Friends by Mayor Walter Sendzik, September 10, 2018 At a ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Walter Sendzik praised the Friends group for their hard work in promoting a beautiful natural environment at the park for the community to enjoy. He thanked the group and presented them with a Green Leader award.  Friends members attending were: Claire Theijsmeijer, Della Trojan, Ron Matsushita. Councillor Bill Phillips, a strong supporter of the work of the Friends, joined the mayor in thanking the group. We sincerely appreciate all your support of our efforts Bill, and hope to see
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DATE SET FOR EARTH DAY 2019 CELEBRATION AT THE PARK

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OUR 2019 EARTH DAY CELEBRATION AT THE PARK! On April 27, from 8 am. to 1 pm. we will hold our annual EArth Day volunteer day for the community. There will be activities like planting native wildflowers, shrubs and trees, park cleanup, garden and tree mulching, hiking, and bird watching. Native plants will be for sale, and there will be free refreshments. Bring the whole family to help the Friends protect and enhance this wonderful natural environment for everyone to enjoy.! For information, email Claire at  reflect@vaxxine.com
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Bald Eagles Seen at the Park

Several committee members and park neighbours have reported seeing a pair of bald eagles in the trees near the shore of Lake Ontario!. They may even be nesting at the park or in trees in a nearby ravine. This is amazing news, since its been years since the eagles have been seen to stay around, and only a few were observed in migration. Their population is still recovering after DDT was banned about 25 years ago. The widespread use of the chemical caused birth defects and weak egg shells, and eagle numbers plummeted. Eaglets are born in late March. A
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PORT WELLER SCHOOL STUDENTS GATHER SEEDS

In November, the Port Weller School environmental club, led by Katie Wood, came to the park to gather native plants seeds. Doug Walls and Claire helped the student groups locate an interesting variety of seeds, such as coneflower, cup plant,Black Eyed Susan, butterflyweed and milkweed. The students were excited to find pods from Kentucky Coffee Tree, and nuts from shellbark Hickory and Butternut. They took them back to school, and identified as many seeds as possible using an internet search.  A few were unidentified and labelled “mystery plant”.  They will cold stratify them  which is keeping them cold/frozen for 8
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Friends Advisory Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Friends Advisory Committee will be Tuesday January 8 at 6 pm. at the Kiwanis Pool Centre, Niagara and Carleton Sts. Anyone may attend to bring comments or ideas.
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PROJECT TO REMOVE INVASIVE FOREST SPECIES- STAGE ONE

  Oriental Bittersweet Vine      European Buckthorn The First Stage of our Project to Remove Invasive species such as European Buckthorn, Oriental Bittersweet vine, Tartarian Honeysuckle and Manitoba Maple in the forest area took place on December 4. These species are outcompeting the native vegetation and preventing growth of new native plantings. Habitat for native insects, birds and wildlife is reduced, and water quality in the wetland and pond damaged. The City and the Friends partnered to hire Giles Restoration to apply a herbicide to 3 focus areas of the forest. The herbicide is Garlon RTU and it was sprayed around
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Controlled/ Prescribed Burn of the Prairie April 9, 2018

The Friends completed an official Burn Plan and held a controlled burn of the 5 acre prairie on April 9. The purpose is to burn off dead plant material from the previous year, and non prairie plants that have started to grow. The ash provides nutrients for the prairie grasses and wildflowers, which start growth later. The fire also damages or kills invasive shrubs. The goal is to restore native southern Ontario prairie ecosystem here, which is threatened and rare in the province. The burn will be held every 2 years. The park was closed for the morning. A team
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Thanks to TD grant for pollinator gardens

With help from a generous TD Friends of the Environment grant, we planted dozens of wildflowers and grasses that attract pollinators in the prairie this year. In July and August, the yellow and purple blooms were a great splash of colour and full of bees, wasps, butterflies and birds. We also created 2 pollinator gardens near the park entrance, that showcase the importance of these native plants for the community. Sincere thanks to TD Friends of the Environment for their support.! With the focus on plants that encourage pollinators, our annual Earth Day Plant Sale sold out of them rapidly!
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Governor Simcoe Students Help Plant Native Plants

On October 21, students from Governor Simcoe High School environmental group, led by Jocelyn Black and teacher Joanne, joined the Friends to plant native shrubs and wildflowers in the prairie area of the park. Councillor Mike Britton (centre) also took part in the planting, and on this his first visit, he said he had learned a lot about park history and goals. The Friends and the student group  hope to have an ongoing partnership that gives the students volunteer hours, and promotes native species in our community.
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City Donates 20 Bur Oaks to the Park

On November 16, the City of St. Catharines, with help from interested community members, will plant 20 Bur Oak trees in the Park. Anyone in the community is invited to help.These trees were left after the October community tree giveaway event, and will now beautify our nature park. Bur Oaks are a significant native tree, providing food and habitat for birds and mammals. Several will be planted in the Learning Area near the entrance from Lakeshore Rd. and others in the edge and woods areas. Why not take a stroll through the park this fall to enjoy the trees and
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