Phragmites in the Toplands at Tommy Thompson Park, before management

Tommy Thompson Park is located on a constructed landform on the central Toronto Waterfront. Through natural succession and habitat creation it has evolved into an urban wilderness that supports diverse plant and animal communities. The habitat quality and biodiversity has been threatened by the expansion of phragmites along the shorelines, wetlands, and some terrestrial areas. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is implementing the Tommy Thompson Park Phragmites Management Plan with the goal of eradicating aquatic and terrestrial phragmites (approximately 6 ha) from this unique wilderness by 2026.

Mowing phragmites in the Toplands at Tommy Thompson Park
Phragmites in the Toplands at Tommy Thompson Park, during mowing phase of management

The Green Shovels investment allowed TRCA to initiate terrestrial phragmites management in the area known as the Toplands earlier than originally scheduled. Before management, phragmites covered approximately 0.8 ha or 10% of the Toplands, which was created to support dry meadow, meadow marsh, and thicket communities. Phragmites management in the Toplands included herbicide treatment in September 2021, followed by mowing in November to reduce standing biomass. Monitoring and management will continue in 2022. This work compliments the aquatic management along the shorelines and wetlands within the park and contributes to the target of eradicating phragmites and restoring native biodiversity by 2026!

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