Stewardship on Public Land

Become a Steward

Toronto citizens have a long history of protecting and restoring our ravines. However, most stewardship activities require supervision by City of Toronto staff under the City of Toronto ravine by-laws.

Toronto Nature Stewards aims to take our stewardship further – our agreement with City of Toronto, Urban Forestry allows for more ravine stewardship without direct supervision by City of Toronto staff. Instead, volunteer Stewards work under the direction of trained Lead Stewards. This way, we harness the power of hundreds of volunteers across Toronto.

How do I become a Steward?

You become a Steward by volunteering at one of our sites. Browse the map and schedule below to find a location that works for you. Stewards must be 16 or over to volunteer on their own. Those younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Recruitment for new stewards is open for the 2023 season but work will not start until spring! (The Lead Steward for your chosen site will connect with you directly)

Please note that the schedule for 2023 is subject to change. (we are displaying the 2022 schedule as reference) Site list for Stewards.

By filling in our site and contact us forms you are giving TNS permission to contact you via email. We do not share our email list.

Sites and Schedules

Sites Schedule (2022 for reference, 2023 TBD for many sites)
Ashbridge’s Bay ParkWednesdays, 9:00 – 11:00 am. Thursday am rain date (starts May 3, 2023)
Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (starts May 4, 2023)
Betty Sutherland Trail ParkPlease register to be emailed for future sessions this year.
Black Creek ParklandTBD
Birkdale RavineVarious dates and times
Cedarvale RavineSunday Oct 16 2-4 pm last regular session. Pop-ups may happen
Cherry BeachWednesdays + Saturdays + Sundays, 9:00 – 11:30 am
Edgeley Park (2023)TBD
Flemingdon ParkThursdays 6 pm – 8 pm. Pop-up on
Gaffney Park (2023)TBD
Glen Stewart Tuesdays 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Thursdays 09:30 – 11:30 am. starts May 2, 2023
Highland Creek ParkMondays 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Hinder Property (2023)TBD
Hoptree-Misty Hills (2023)Tuesdays, 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Lake Promenade (2023)TBD
Leaside ParkTBD
Magwood ParkSundays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Tuesdays 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Middle MillThursdays 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Milliken District ParkSome Friday evenings (7-8:30pm) and some Saturday mornings (10am-12pm) (2023)
Newtonbrook Creek (2023)TBD
NorthlineSundays (every 2 weeks) 9 to 11 am.
Prairie Drive ParkVarious dates and times
Raymore Park Various dates and times
Roxborough Parkette N.Mondays 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Severn Creek (2023)TBD
Sherwood ParkTuesdays 8:30 am – 11:00 am
Smythe ParkWednesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
South Kingsway (2023)Tuesday evening tentative 6 to 8 pm
Sunnypoint Neilson ParkTuesdays 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Taylor Creek ParkVarious dates and times
Topham PondThursdays 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Weston Lions ParkVarious dates and times

What do Stewards do?

Stewards work under the direction of Lead Stewards and meet regularly (usually once a week) to:

  • Pick up litter
  • Identify invasive plants
  • Remove invasive plants
  • Monitor ecological impact

Why become a Steward?

You will get a lot back from your role as a Steward! Skills & knowledge you will gain include:

  • Identification and removal of invasive and native plants
  • Experience building teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Important problem-solving skills
  • Volunteer hours
  • Friendships with a community of like-minded people
  • Opportunities for social connection
  • Outdoor fun and nature therapy

Stewardship helps build vibrant communities. Working together with friends and neighbours provides the benefit of knowing you’ve made a difference to the state of Toronto’s ravines and natural areas.

How long is the stewardship season?

Our stewardship year begins in April and usually runs until frost in October or November.

Please note that the schedule for 2022 is subject to change.

We look forward to seeing you stewarding at a site!

Defining some terms

Lead Steward – A person who has completed the TNS Lead Steward training program and who can lead groups of volunteer Stewards in pre-authorized activities, at approved sites on public land, without City of Toronto supervision.

Site – Defined geographic area in a park or ravine that has been approved by the City of Toronto and stewarded by a defined team. Sites are natural areas (not groomed).

Steward – A volunteer who works to protect, restore, maintain, and monitor Toronto’s natural areas and ravines, under the direction of a Lead Steward.

Unsupervised Stewardship – Stewardship activities that are led by Lead Stewards without supervision by City of Toronto staff.