Meadow Systems Planning: Analysis of Restoration Strategies at the Don Valley Brick Works Park
This Major Research Project will assess management alternatives for ecological restoration in the DVBW Meadow in Toronto, with response to the following questions: How can the Don Valley Brick Works Meadow management be improved in order to create a diverse meadow habitat? Does the infrequent mowing of the site, currently practiced, enhance its biodiversity? Would prescribed burns and/or grazing be more effective options? How can prescribed burns be implemented in this urban setting? Using an Ecological Land Classification (ELC) assessment of the meadow and evaluating options for prairie restoration including prescribed burning, prescribed grazing, and seeding, I will show ecological criteria suggest that a combination of these three management options will be the most successful in prairie restoration at the DVBW. Understanding the feasibility of implementing prescribed burns- the most contentious of meadow management options- was achieved through interviews. Two urban, southern Ontario sites, High Park and the Ojibway Prairie Complex have been conducting burns for over a decade; their experiences offer guidelines to implementing prescribed burns in an urban setting. This Major Research Project is a response to the goals of the City of Toronto, to improve the biodiversity of the DVBW Meadow and thusenhance the health and integrity of the DVBW Park ecosystem.