Nature Walk ~
A few Sundays ago we took a walk through Wilket Creek Park, a natural park right in the middle of Toronto. The air was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining brightly with the promise of Spring in the air.
Alexander Milne first settled the northern end of the valley now known as Wilket Creek after the War of 1812. From this period until the 1950's it was known as Milne Creek. The name Wilket Creek originally referred to a tributary of the East Don River nearly three miles further north. The park was developed by Metropolitan Toronto in 1960 to provide a suitable link between Edwards Gardens (originally the Milne settlement) and Serena Gundy Park.
Wilket Creek Park is well-known for its mature coniferous and deciduous forest communities. Depending on soil moisture, light, and orientation of the ravine slopes, mature stands of Eastern Hemlock, Sugar Maple, American Beech, Red Oak and Hop Hornbeam thrive along the valley walls. Moist marshes and groundwater seeps that flow towards the creek provide the dampness needed by the ferns, cattail marshes and wet scrub communities along the floodplain. A diversity of species may be found within the valley including such rare plants as Canada Sicklepod, Snakerood, and New York Fern. Some uncommon bird species have also visited here as a stop-off point during seasonal migrations. This narrow, winding ravine has also benefitted from a number of wildflower plantings and natural regeneration projects.