Story by Michael Ball
“On my regular walks around High Park I marvel at the wide range of sights, smells and experiences which are available to me, and other, to freely enjoy. The park is a unique place only minutes from a noisy, hectic, and a crowded urban world so I appreciate the many individuals, and groups, who came before me and who made contributions to help ensure that High Park is a wonderful natural pocket in the middle of Toronto for now and well into the future.
I appreciate the foresight of John George Howard who deeded his property and his home, Colborne Lodge, to the city with the conditions that the park remain ” . . . for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter High Park.”
I also appreciate the actions, and foresight of earlier city councillors who invested in additional lands to expand the size of the park to make it more sustainable, including all of Grenadier Pond and more of the important streams, springs and vegetation.
I am thankful that the City of Toronto Urban Forestry department has a long-term management plan, including regular prescribed burns, to help manage the rare Black Oak savannah habitat in the park. This will help to ensure that future generations are still able to experience and enjoy this endangered habitat. Now, thanks to their earlier efforts, I can regularly see the soft blue colour of wild lupins in the Spring which were nearly lost forever.
I am grateful for the efforts of High Park Stewards, in the past and currently, whose work has helped to maintain and improve the natural environment of the area. The hours they put in throughout the year ensures that future visitors are able to experience a wonderful green oasis in the heart of Toronto.
Finally I appreciate the current visitors who control their pets, respect their picnic spaces, and ensure that High Park stays an inspiration for photographers and artists, a space for walkers, runners, and players, both young and old, and a long-lasting jewel for the future.”