Stewardship on Public Land

About Us

Toronto Nature Stewards (TNS), with the agreement of the City of Toronto Urban Forestry Division, runs a stewardship program on public land in ravines and natural areas without direct City supervision. Sites are managed by Lead Stewards who have been trained, follow agreed-upon protocols for ecological restoration and report their stewardship activities.

TNS stewards support the ecological restoration of ravines and natural areas by picking up litter, removing invasive plants, planting native species, and monitoring the ecological impact of stewardship activities. We meet as small groups of stewards led by trained Lead Stewards, to care for a piece of land within Toronto’s ravines and natural areas. Each stewardship site has been approved by the City of Toronto and each group is committed to stewarding their site for a period of years.

Interested in participating in the TNS program? Click here to sign up.

Our Mission

To engage and educate the people of Toronto in the stewardship of our ravines and natural areas. Our goals for 2023 include:

  • Obtaining City of Toronto approval for new sites, additional invasive plants, and planting native plants at select sites
  • Monitoring the success and failures of stewardship activities to continually improve the program
  • Improving the ecological integrity of additional sites within Toronto’s ravines and natural areas
  • Creating a diverse and welcoming environment of like-minded individuals dedicated to improving the biodiversity and ecological health of Toronto‚Äôs natural areas.

Our Vision

A Toronto with healthy, biodiverse ecosystems where plants and animals thrive. We work together to restore and maintain healthy natural areas to improve the quality of life for all Toronto citizens.

Our History

Toronto Nature Stewards grew out of the Toronto Ravine Strategy (2017), Biodiversity Strategy (2019) and Pollinator Protection Strategy (2018) into action. A pilot started in spring of 2021 with 9 sites, 23 trained Lead Stewards and 153 stewards. The program has since expanded to more than 90 Lead Stewards and 500 volunteers, operating across more than 30 sites throughout the city.

Stewardship is Our Solution

Science-based
We provide evidence-based training and resources to Lead Stewards, private property owners and community volunteers for improving natural area ecological health and biodiversity.

Local lens
Each piece of land has unique challenges and solutions. Through long-term stewardship, we can form a relationship with the land by learning from and caring for it.

Community involvement
There is a tremendous need and opportunity for stewardship in Toronto that cannot be met by government alone. Citizen and community involvement in stewardship will benefit not only the land and resident wild species, but the people who participate in it.

Code of Conduct

Toronto Nature Stewards (TNS) is committed to fostering an environment in which everyone we engage with, including fellow stewards, the general public, and members of other organizations, is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, age, gender, sexual identity or sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or abilities. All stewards are expected to adhere to this principle.  

Participation in TNS programs is subject to complying with our procedures, as outlined in our curriculum and on our website.  Behaviour that reflects badly on TNS is to be avoided.  TNS does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, abuse or bullying.

If you feel that the code of conduct has been breached, please contact our Volunteer Administrator at torontonaturestewards@gmail.com, who will put you in contact with the chair  of our Operations Team.

Code of conduct pdf