Alexandra Link, director of the Humber Arboretum and Centre for Urban Ecology, alongside Andrew Ramesbottom from the TRCA

Humber College, the City of Toronto, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) have joined forces with the Humber Arboretum to revive the Humber Pond and introduce even more life to Humber’s Arboretum.

With the help of TRCA’s knowledge, guidance and resources, phase one of the revitalization is set to begin in August 2018. The first phase is focused on improving the water quality and the wildlife habitat, while the second phase is dedicated to building an outdoor classroom and community gathering space on an island in the pond.

Alexandra Link, director of the Humber Arboretum and Centre for Urban Ecology, alongside two representatives from the TRCA, Andrew Ramesbottom and Natalie Hryshko, introduced the project during a kick-off event held recently in the Centre for Urban Ecology.

“The Humber Arboretum and its three founding partners, City of Toronto, TRCA and Humber College, came together and decided to re-imagine the space as an outdoor classroom, living laboratory, and social gathering space, while simultaneously cleaning up the water quality and restoring native plants and wildlife habitat,” said Link.

TRCA has expertise in restoring natural areas around the GTA including meadows, wetlands, ravines, forests and many other natural habitats. “Building shorelines and wetlands is what we do, and it was great that they (Humber College) came to us to ask for our expertise,” said Andrew Ramesbottom, Project Manager of Restoration Projects with the TRCA.

A number of Humber College’s programs and students will play a vital role in the Humber Pond Revitalization Project. “The Landscape Technician students will be contributing their ideas towards the landscape design, and they’re also going to be planting and maintaining the landscape, while the Civil Engineering Technology program is involved in water quality testing and monitoring,” said Link. “Humber’s Sustainable Energy and Building Technology program will be looking at the impacts of storm water treatment on energy use, and how this project will help, and they’re also going to be involved with some of the planting and using it as an outdoor classroom space. We’re really excited to integrate this project with student learning at Humber.”

To learn more about Humber Arboretum initiatives visit: http://humber.ca/arboretum/.