Rare natural habitat on west end of Woodbine Beach needs protection, say environmentalists – Beach Metro Community News
, 2022-11-01 14:56:40,
Clyde Robinson, left, and Noam Markus show some of the slender false foxglove plants in the natural area at the west end of Woodbine Beach during a walk-through with Beach Metro Community News in the late summer. The area is a rare habitat and needs to be protected, they say. Photo by Adam Owen-Gill.
By ALAN SHACKLETON
The calls to protect what is considered to be environmentally sensitive land at the west end of Woodbine Beach appear to gaining traction as the City of Toronto recently announced that a disc golf course that had briefly been in the area last year will not be re-installed at the site.
Local environmentalists Clyde Robinson and Noam Markus have been drawing attention to the increasing biodiversity of the natural area located at the beach’s west end and to the east of Ashbridges Bay Park.
“This is a very rare habitat, that has rarely been seen elsewhere in Toronto,” said Markus of the area.
“If you don’t look closely, you don’t know what’s going on here. People are not able to recognize that it is more than an empty lot…It’s not just grass growing here. It’s sedge grass and rushes….ground nesters are laying their eggs and pollinators are flying over.”
Markus and Robinson helped produce a report on the area and the many differing kinds of kinds of plants, birds and bees that are calling it home.
The report was shared with the City of Toronto in late August, and may have played a role in what the city’s plans for the area will be in the future.
In the immediate future, one thing that will not be happening is the re-installation of what had been the Beaches Disc Golf Course South Course.
That nine-hole addition to the existing North Course which is on parkland closer to Lake Shore Boulevard East opened in the fall of last year, and immediately raised the concerns of environmentalists and bird watchers who said the location was inappropriate.
In March of this year, the city removed the metal baskets and tee posts that had been located in the area and vowed to undertake an environmental evaluation of the area.
“The evaluation included a multi-disciplinary, on-site review by staff as well as consideration for concerns expressed by the residents,” said Donna Kovachis, Director, Parks for the city in response to questions from Beach Metro Community News sent last month.
“City staff have since completed this evaluation and, in consideration for the ecological impact the course would impose, have…
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