GNN’s Plant Pull and Picnic

On a beautiful afternoon in late August, GNN hosted a “Plant-pull and Picnic” at Cherry Beach. It was so awesome seeing everyone’s smiling faces and enthusiasm as we faced off against the invasive phragmites. Thanks to the hard work of fifteen volunteers, the native plants of Cherry Beach’s dunes can now grow and thrive! 

It was truly a special event thanks to one of GNN’s newest members, the Cherry Beach Nature Stewards. The stewards only remove these phragmites once a year so we were honoured to be a part of it. 

Check out this great Instagram Reel recapping the event by Sofiya, one of our wonderful volunteers.  

Why remove invasive Phragmites?

Invasive Phragmites is a type of reed plant that causes damage to Ontario’s beaches and wetlands. It does this by aggressively spreading and outcompeting our native plants. This creates a dense “monoculture” (only one species) which is a poor habitat for wildlife. 

What do the nature stewards do? 

The Toronto Nature Stewards are a really cool organization that engage community volunteers in nature stewardship at over 30  locations across the city. They have an agreement with the City of Toronto that allows them to work on public land, including ravines and natural areas. They remove invasive species, plant native species, and clean up litter to support flourishing ecosystems. 

Why is it important to involve the community with nature stewardship?

Community stewardship not only helps nature, but the people participating too. Spending time caring for our local environment helps us reconnect with nature, which benefits our mental and physical health. It feels great to be part of a group of people who are dedicated to improving our natural areas.

This looks fun! How do I sign up?

Sign up to be a Nature Steward here! It’s not too late to join as stewardship runs until frost in October and November. New stewards can join any time. There are opportunities at Cherry Beach as well as over 30 other locations across the city! Map and details are on their website.

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