Wildflower work a preview to community cleanup day

Jenny and Flynn, two volunteers at last week's wildflower cleanup at Todmorden Mills.
Jenny Foster (left) and Flynn O’Dacre, two volunteers at last week’s wildflower cleanup at Todmorden Mills. (ERIN CASSIDY/TORONTO OBSERVER) (ERIN CASSIDY/TORONTO OBSERVER)

The rain didn’t stop the cleanup crew at the Wildflower Preserve last weekend at Todmorden Mills, in East York off Pottery Road.

On Saturday, guests were invited to join in on the cleanup of litter and debris in the Preserve. Unfortunately, due to the surrounding Don Valley Parkway and the Brickworks, there is a lot to gather up. Cleaning up the site is crucial for the natural environment, but it will also look better as well.

The Wildflower Preserve was founded in 1991, and since then volunteers and workers have been gradually restoring the site. But Paula Davies, chair of the preserve, would like more helpers, especially from the youth.

“A lot of us are seniors, or middle-aged people,” Davies said. “We need more youth and young people to get involved.” She suggests that they do nature-related work when doing high school community service hours.

Her team is out twice weekly bringing the site back to what it once was. A recent problem that Davies has noticed in the preserve is that guests are digging up plants and taking them away.

“We work very hard to plant things, and so we get there and we see a little hole where somebody removed it,” Davies said. “We feel dismay because we’re trying to bring it back.”

Davies receives the plants from local nurseries, which grow them for her and other stewardships that run in other parks in the city. So when people take the plants, it affects the preserve in a bad way.

Chris Smith, a volunteer from the neighbourhood, came out with his daughter Beatrice to help clean up the preserve. Smith said that he has been helping out for the past ten years.

“My kids usually come out every year with me,” Smith said. “But we missed last year.” Beatrice chimed in by saying that she has helped for five years.

Smith has an interest in nature and enjoys planting and doesn’t mind helping out the community. After the big cleanup, they arrived with huge smiles and full bags.

“We got a third of a bag of recycling,” Smith said.

If you want to help clean up your local park, tomorrow, April 20, is a great day for it. It’s the city’s officially designated “community cleanup day.”