The southern portion of High Park used illegally by BMX bikers, that some contend is a Native burial site, is well on its way to being fully restored.
Manager of urban forestry Beth McEwen said back in May, planting of trees would begin after leveling the makeshift bike ramps in the area known as Oak Woodland.
Three months later, the planting has proven to be a success.
In October of last year, the Town Crier first reported the illegal bike ramps and how it was affecting a group of Native Canadians who know it as Snake Mound.
In May, many of those Natives from various tribes, camped in the area for nearly a week and with the help of city workers, began leveling the ramps. At the time, McEwen said planting was expected to begin June 15.
According to the City of Toronto’s website, nearly a dozen different shrubs and herbs have been planted at the site, with most of them flourishing. McEwen said she isn’t sure why, but the only one that hasn’t done well is buckwheat.
“It could even just be that the chipmunks have eaten it,” she said in a phone message.
McEwen did note since the addition of new soil and flora, there haven’t been any instances of the BMXers returning, though there has been the occasional bike that has passed through.
A Facebook group called Friends of Snake Mound have been reporting the occasional appearance of BMX bikers, with the most recent being Aug. 14. However, the most recent update, from Aug. 23, indicates the area is on the right path to renewal.
“The rain has left pools of water at the south end of Snake Mound and the plants looked refreshed,” the message read. “Saw no evidence of new bike tracks and a few people strolled by and we chatted with them; all interested and supportive.”
The group also mentions they had planted a white ceremonial sage, but that some of it had been removed from the site, and the rest of it had been destroyed by bicycles riding over it.
Aside from the sage and the buckwheat, the city website lists the shrubs it has planted as alternate-leaved dogwood, round-leaved dogwood, bush honeysuckle, chokecherry, smooth Rose, purple flowering raspberry, beaked hazel and maple leaf viburnum. It also says two herbs, Pennsylvania sedge and upland bentgrass, have also taken root.
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