Cottonwoods Flats Stewardship

TFN is serving as Team Leaders for a new City of Toronto Community Stewardship Program (CSP) team at Cottonwood Flats. Participants will have the chance to directly support the well-being of nature in this area of the Don Valley by removing invasive species and restoring native habitat. 

While this new initiative is distinct from TFN’s long-standing (and ongoing!) Cottonwood Flats Monitoring Project (CFMP), our CSP Stewardship team and CFMP will enjoy very tight ties. CFMP data will inform our CSP stewardship activities and the results of our CSP stewardship efforts will be monitored long-term and documented in future CFMP data. This robust circle of citizen science and practical stewardship has limitless potential benefits, not only to nature, but to deepening our understanding of the impacts of stewardship strategies and techniques in an urban environment. 

All Torontonians are welcome to volunteer with the CSP and come lend TFN a hand at Cottonwood Flats. For more information and/or to raise your hand, simply email

2022 accomplishments include:

  • Invasive control with emphasis on tansy, buckthorn, burdock, dog-strangling vine, crown vetch and Japanese knotweed.
  • Species introduction by seeding with wild bergamot, black-eyed Susan, pearly everlasting, and seven others.
  • Planting white cedar, buttonbush, dogwood, snowberry and nannyberry.
  • Litter removal in songbird meadow and waterside.

If you’re interested in learning more about what TFN is doing at the Flats, you can watch Jason Ramsay-Brown’s presentation “Restoring Cottonwood Flats in the Don Valley” on our YouTube channel or contact

Without the intervention of stewards, the Flats would no doubt become a extension of the kind of urban wilds typical of the lower Don. But the transformation of the Flats from post-industrial snow-dump to renaturalized area more than a decade ago was inspired by a desire to see it thrive as something different: a small spot of meadowland and wetland, vital habitats too scarce in Toronto.

Cottonwood Flats is located near the intersection of Millwood Road and Pape Avenue.