Planting for spring

Volunteers from the RoncyWorks Green Team and their kids plant spring bulbs in the street planting beds near Copernicus Lodge.

Undaunted by the rain, new volunteer Robin Poole and her three friends came out with their children to plant bulbs along Roncesvalles. Three cheers for the big and little volunteers. From Left to Right: Back row – Robin, Michelle, Amanda (holding Ruby) Front row – Georgia, Jules, Finn, Spencer and Alex.

In the week before superstorm Sandy blew in, volunteers from our Green Team got out to plant 800 spring bulbs among the 21 planting beds along Roncesvalles. Several beds were planted by volunteers in the cold and wind as the storm approached. Three cheers for the big and little volunteers.

The bulbs were provided by the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. Next spring you’ll see a splash of yellow, orange, white and blues from the Narcissis Hawera, Red Devon, Fortune, Geranium and Scilla Siberica as these new bulbs spring forth.

Thank you to Barbara Japp and Jackie Taschereau who led the effort and to the the ten others who helped out with the planting. Thanks also to the Sweeps who got in there ahead of time to clear the planters of trash and cigarette butts. And, thanks to the rain, they got plenty of water.

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Sweeping teamwork

So  you’ve heard about the work of our Roncy Sweeps and you’d like to help out on a small section of the street close to where you live or work. Or perhaps you’d like to start your own initiative in your part of town. So, here’s how it works.

The17 blocks along Roncesvalles are split up into 8 sections. The lead volunteer for each section coordinates their efforts with the other volunteers on their team. The team takes care of both sides of the street, aiming to get out maybe once a week on a day between City cleanings, like on Tuesdays, Thursdays or on the weekend.

On the business sides of the street volunteers focus on cleaning the plant beds while business owners aim to keep the sidewalks looking good in front of their premises. On the residential side volunteers tidy up planting beds, pick up and dispose of some litter and recylables, and sweep up the sidewalks.

Brooms and gloves will be stored at 7 or 8 locations along Roncesvalles, to start with, so that volunteers can easily use these when it’s opportune for them to do a little sweeping. The lead volunteer for your section will tell you where the broom is stored.

We’re looking for additional volunteers to build up each team. There’s no set schedule. Each one does what they can, when they can. Just let us know which section you’d like to work on and we’ll connect you with the lead for that section. Our current lead volunteers by section include:

  1. Boustead to Howard: Ann
  2. Howard to Constance: Ed
  3. Constance to Geoffrey: Mary
  4. Geoffrey to Fermanagh: Maria
  5. Fermanagh to Fern: Tereza
  6. Fern to Galley: Dorothée
  7. Galley to Marion: Kirsten
  8. Marion to Queen: Jane

Learn more about Roncy Sweeps from these posts:

Signing on

Sign posted on tree identifies species and elicits gentle care

If at first you don't succeed, use bigger staples.

Despite some pranksters pulling down a number of signs posted on the new trees along Roncy’s east side, our volunteers have received enthusiastic approval for the signage from passers by. Our thanks go to Martha Goodings and Bill Montague for their three hours spent on this today.

The signs not only serve to identify each tree’s common name, but we’ve added the Polish name to the replacement signs. They also highlight the planting and maintenance efforts. Looks like the tree guards and grates won’t arrive before next year, so for now the signs are the only thing protecting the trees against bikes and territorial dogs — other than common sense, of course.