German Mills Meadow and Natural Habitat Tour
with Toronto Field Naturalists, Markham Park Planner and S.P.R.A. Executive
On Monday June 24, 2013 members of the SPRA executive: Rigby Andrews, Kimberly Seymour and Bob James met with Theresa Moore and Nancy Degler from the Toronto Field Naturalists and Nory Takata, the Parks Planner from the City of Markham. These experts pointed out invasive species in the park with the biggest concern being the dog-strangling vine. This was prevalent in many areas of the park. Another concern was the wild mustard plant.
Nory informed us that he has contacted the Ministry of National Resources, regarding the presence of Meadowlarks in the park. The Bobolink has also been spotted this year, and both of these species are ‘at risk’ under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada.
The group discussed having Markham create signage to urge people to stay on the trails and keep dogs leased during bird breeding season (April to November). This would avoid disturbing the ground-nesting birds and would minimize further spread of invasive weeds.
S.P.R.A. discussed organizing volunteers to do some cutting and bagging of the vine in August, using scythes or battery operated weed whips. Nory suggested a trial of solarization of a small area to research effectiveness.
S.P.R.A. will continue its dialogue with all interested parties, and continue to seek ways to enhance the Meadow as a desirable habitat for the diverse range of birds and mammals that reside there.