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, empowering communities to take action to restore their local parks!

What do Stewards do?

Stewards work under the direction of Lead Stewards and meet regularly to:

  • Pick up litter
  • Identify and remove invasive plants
  • Plant and tend to native plants

Why become a Steward?

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

  • Learn to identify native and invasive plants
  • Collaborate and build a team while meeting new people
  • Gain problem-solving skills and volunteer hours
  • Have fun and enjoy some “nature therapy”

How long is the stewardship season?

Our stewardship year begins in April and usually runs until frost in October or November, but every site has its own hours and schedule. New stewards can join at any time!

How do I become a Steward?

Look at our sites and schedules (below) and pick a time and place that suits you. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be contacted by the Lead Steward(s) at your chosen site.

You must be 16 years or over to volunteer on your own. Otherwise, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Sites and Schedules

Below are our sites and schedules for 2023. Schedules are subject to change at any time.

Ashbridge’s Bay Park (2023)Wednesdays, 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 Park (2023)Some Sundays, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm
Black Creek ParklandTBD
Birkdale Ravine (2023)Sundays 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Thursdays 5:00 – 7:00 pm starting May 18
Cedarvale Ravine (2023)Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm and weekends, currently Sundays 9:00 – 11:00 am. Changes will be announced in weekly email to stewards.
Cherry Beach (2023)Wednesdays + Saturdays 9:00 – 11:30 am
Edgeley Park (2023)Sundays, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Flemingdon Park (2023)TBD (Not starting until early June)
Gaffney Park (2023)TBD
Glen Stewart Park (2023)Tuesday evenings 6:30 to 8:00 pm and Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30 am.
Highland Creek Park (2023)Wednesdays 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Hinder Property (2023)TBD
Hoptree-Misty Hills (2023)Tuesdays, 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Lake Promenade (2023)TBD
Leaside Park (2023)Tuesdays biweekly 6 pm – 8 pm, starting May 9
Magwood Park (2023)Sundays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and/or Tuesdays 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Middle Mill (2023)Thursdays 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Milliken District Park (2023)Some Friday evenings (7-8:30pm) and some Saturday mornings (10am-12pm)
Newtonbrook Creek (2023)Thursdays 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Northline (2023)Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Prairie Drive Park (2023)Some Saturday mornings (see site page) 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Raymore Park Sundays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Tuesdays 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Roxborough Parkette N. (2023)Tuesdays 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Severn Creek (2023)Monday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sherwood Park (2023)Thursdays 8:30 am – 11:00 am
Smythe ParkTBD (2022 Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
South Kingsway (2023)Wednesdays 9:00 am – 11:00 am, Tuesdays tentative 6 to 8 pm
Sunnypoint-Neilson Park (2023)Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Taylor Creek Park (2023)First Wednesday of each month, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, starting May 3
Topham Pond (2023)Thursdays 8:30 – 11:00 am and Saturdays (time TBD)
Weston Lions ParkTBD
G Ross Lord ParkTBD

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

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.