Our parks protect some of the most biodiverse places in Ontario, and this biodiversity includes an enormous number of native plant species.
From giant Tulip Trees in the south to small ancient White Cedars on the Niagara Escarpment, north to carnivorous wildflowers (and the infamous Poison Ivy almost everywhere) — plants are the basis of our forest food chains.
Basically, we’re full up on plants.
Please don’t bring us more.
Leave your plants in their bed
Non-native plants don’t fit into our ecosystems.
They don’t provide food for plant-munching insects (which in turn feed bats, birds, fish, and other wildlife). They can crowd out wildflowers, and change soil chemistry so native plants can’t grow.
Non-native plants are a big threat to our ecosystems, and our staff spend many hours working to control them every year. Even with control efforts, many problem species are now so widespread that we will probably never be rid of them.
Keep invasive species at bay
In addition to the sneaky ways non-native plants get into our parks, it’s important that we don’t overlook the most obvious.
Every time someone brings in a potted plant to decorate their campsite, or plants a non-native species in their cottage garden, they are distracting pollinators from their important job of pollinating native plants.
Worse, many garden plants are very invasive, such as English Ivy and Japanese Barberry.
Even if the plant itself isn’t invasive, the soil it came in could be a Trojan Horse, harbouring thousands of tiny seeds just waiting to colonize a new park.
No hay, please
Unless they’re on the menu, even dead plants can cause problems.
Straw or hay bales used as decoration can be full of fast-growing seeds, so please don’t bring them into natural areas.
Straw shows up most often in the fall, as campers decorate their sites for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Keep it eco friendly by leaving the haybales at home.
Keep our wild spaces wild
As tempting as it may be to decorate your campsite with a pot of flowers or to plant a hosta outside your cottage, it’s best to enjoy the greenery that is already growing all around you!
Leave other plants at home, and enjoy the natural boost that our natural ecosystems can provide when they’re allowed to do what they do best.