Yesterday, Alpha Textbooks and BookSwap took part in its annual Earth Day tree planting event on one of the newest editions to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) conservation lands, Tommy Thompson Park.
Every year we sponsor a tree on behalf of a public school or department that buys or sells their books with BookSwap for that school year. Hundreds of schools and departments across the province get trees planted in their honour.
Not only was the view of the city great, the air was fresh, and the natural sounds took our breath away.
We took on a tree node of our own, planting twenty white pines.
For 2014, BookSwap represented 232 schools and departments in the plant.
This year, BookSwap received planting help from Ripley’s Aquarium. Ripley’s donated their people to power the white pines into the ground, and help cultivate the area’s natural habitat.
“White pines grow the best in the area,” said Katie Turnbull, Environmental Technologist at TRCA Restoration and Environmental Monitoring, “This is habitat for wild life. We take every opportunity to bring back natural materials of the region’s natural environment.” Turnbull said that snowy owls particularly like white pines.
The TRCA chose Tommy Thompson Park for its annual Earth Day plant, as part of its reforestation initiative in the region. The park is home to gull colonies. It’s also a spot where snowy owls land as they migrate in the spring and fall. The park is opening more access to the public this summer.
After the planting, TRCA conservation worker, Tyler, gave us a tour of the park and brought us to the bird banding station. We learned about the national bird monitoring and wildlife research system, how bird bands work, and how we can benefit from keeping track of bird migration patterns and behavior.
We ended the day with a walk and explored some of the parks other wonders. Tyler told us that all the animals living in the park inhabited the lands without human introduction. The TRCA takes a “Field of Dreams approach” to conservation land restoration, “If you build it, they will come.” And they certainly did – especially cormorants. But also beavers, turtles and coyotes! Yikes!
Some of the new and notable schools that were represented in 2014’s plant include Joseph Brant School and Walter Gretzky School in Brantford, and Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Toronto’s east end.
We look forward to planting again next year!