Media/Photo Op Advisory - Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Tommy
Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival

TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - Cape May, Nashville, Kentucky and Tennessee. These are a few namesakes of warblers, tiny songbirds that migrate annually through Toronto. Tommy Thompson Park (TTP), also known as the Leslie Street Spit, is the best place in the city to experience the breathtaking beauty of these songbirds. You may also get a chance to look a Broad-winged Hawk straight in the eye, see a Turkey Vulture strike a pose or watch a Great Horned Owl from only a few feet away. At the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival visitors will have an opportunity to learn about songbird migration and conservation, go on a birding hike and participate in a workshop. Best of all, birds are fascinating to watch and with over 317 bird species recorded at Tommy Thompson Park, everyone is sure to be inspired.

Participants at this year's event include Ontario Nature, Birds & Beans, Project CHIRP!, Toronto Ornithological Club, and Toronto Field Naturalists. The Spring Bird Festival is sponsored by Ontario Power Generation.

Join Councillor Paula Fletcher, Waterfront Toronto and the TRCA to celebrate the bird festival and unveiling of the new TTP infrastructure designs. "Waterfront Toronto is pleased to be partnering with Toronto and Region Conservation to improve Tommy Thompson Park. The Gateway, Environmental Shelter, Bird Banding Station and Staff Booth will be beautiful and sustainable additions to the park that will support its cutting-edge migratory bird research, and provide much needed public facilities to enhance the user's experience of this waterfront treasure," said John Campbell, Waterfront Toronto, President and CEO.

"I hope that every Torontonian knows about this unique gem in City's backyard," said City of Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher. "Birdwatching is one of the fastest-growing outdoor hobbies. It's easy, inexpensive and relaxing. The infrastructure is the next step that will ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience while visiting this exceptional urban wilderness."

"The new infrastructure will allow us to better manage TTP and truly realize the Master Plan vision of a unique urban wilderness park," said Brian Denney, CAO, Toronto and Region Conservation.

    
    WHEN: May 8, 2010 FREE!

    WHAT: Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival.

    WHERE: Tommy Thompson Park, at the foot of Leslie Street, south of Lake
    Shore Blvd East. Free (but limited) parking is available at the TTP
    parking lot or on Unwin Avenue. Shuttle buses, including the OPG electric
    bus, run throughout the festival area, but everyone should be prepared to
    walk. Private vehicles and pets are not permitted in the park.

    TIMES: 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; TTP infrastructure unveiling at 10:00 a.m.
    For a detailed list of activities please visit www.springbirdfestival.ca
    

"At Ontario Power Generation, we are committed to helping create and care for wetlands, woodlands, greenspaces and habitats like Tommy Thompson Park," said Steve Hounsell, OPG Environmental Advisor. "We're proud to support this wonderful and important festival once again."

Tommy Thompson Park is located on a manmade peninsula that extends five kilometres into Lake Ontario and has evolved into the largest greenspace on the central Toronto Waterfront. The park has been colonized by an impressive variety of plant and animal communities, and provides critical habitat for migrating birds, butterflies and nesting colonial waterbirds. Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) owns the land and water bodies at Tommy Thompson Park and is dedicated to the understanding, protection, and awareness of birds in Toronto.

ROBERT BATEMAN GET TO KNOW: Robert Bateman launched the Get to Know Contest in 2000 to inspire Canadian youth to "get to know their wild neighbors" by getting outdoors and actively connecting with nature. The Contest provides young people with the opportunity to use their creative abilities, be it art, writing or photography, to develop a broader understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Entries can be submitted online at www.gettoknow.ca, between April 22 and May 28. The Contest will be launched in Toronto at the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival at 10:30 am. There will be great raffle prizes to be won by people in attendance!

Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City(R), where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.tommythompsonpark.ca or www.ttpbrs.ca

SOURCE Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

For further information: For further information: For media information and registration contact: Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation, T: (416) 661-6600 ext 5632, C: (416) 358-3446, E: rcalpito@trca.on.ca


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