Colonel Samuel Smith Park opens new lookout to wetland

TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto officially opened a newly constructed wetland lookout today at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, City staff joined project partners from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the Humber Arboretum, Citizens Concerned about the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront (CCFEW), Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS) and community members to officially open the wetland lookout.

"Projects like these are testaments to what can be accomplished when community and corporate partners work together with the City to make our green spaces better places to visit," said Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee.

"Through this project, local residents can connect better with wildlife, nature and this beautiful park. On behalf of the community, I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the other partners and sponsors who have made this possible," said Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore).

"The Weston Family Parks Challenge is encouraging strong partnerships to ensure Toronto's green spaces have a bright and vibrant future. This project is a shining example of how diverse partners can come together to create lasting change in our city parks," said Camilla Dalglish, Director of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

The structure was constructed using funds from a $124,000 grant through the Weston Family Parks Challenge, which is an initiative of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in collaboration with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and administered by Toronto Park People.

The project also included the installation of turtle-basking logs in the wetland, planting of native trees, shrubs and wetland plants by volunteers, nature-programming, installation of a bird feeder station, and bird feeder kits for the Annual Spring Bird Festival.

The Weston Family Parks Challenge is supporting the Humber Arboretum's Colonel Sam Smith Park Improvements and Programs. This project brings together diverse partners to improve wetland habitat and create a new outdoor classroom. Environmental programs and stewardship opportunities will connect youth and community members to nature by raising awareness of the importance of providing and maintaining natural areas for birds and other wildlife. Public, private and non-profit partnerships will ensure the long-term sustainability of the project, enhancing one of Toronto's most popular birding destinations for future generations.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

SOURCE City of Toronto

For further information: Media contact: Janette Harvey, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, 416-676-7825, jharvey3@toronto.ca

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