Paper about Champlain Park Forest Diversity Efforts Published!

Published in Trail & Landscape 57(2) April-June 2023

Community Stewardship and Biodiversity Enhancement of Public Greenspaces

Daniel Buckles1,2, Catherine Shearer1, Kris Phillips1, Adrian Bradley1, Chieu-Anh Ta3, Braydon Hall3 and John Thor Arnason1,3*

1. Champlain Park Environment Committee, Kitchissippi, Ottawa ON
2. Sociology and Anthropology Department, Carleton University, Ottawa ON
3. Biology Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON
* Corresponding authors:,

Abstract: Plant biodiversity in urban woodlands near the Ottawa River was assessed and found to have low native biodiversity. Community volunteers responded by planting native trees using various techniques (Hügelkultur mounds, Miyawaki or “Tiny Forest” plantations, terracing) and establishing several native pollinator gardens. Biodiversity enhancement included both native Great Lakes and St. Lawrence forest species and Carolinian species, with attention to ethnobotanical and forest food species as well as herbaceous plants supporting native pollinators. The experience suggests that community stewardship of public greenspaces offers an efficient and effective means to achieve meaningful conservation and public education outcomes.

Keywords: Native plants, Carolinian species, biodiversity enhancement, Hügelkultur mounds, medicinal plants, food forest, pollinator garden.

[First page of the paper]
Get the PDF of the whole very well illustrated paper from Community Stewardship and Biodiversity Enhancement of Public Greenspaces.pdf

Talk on Depaving, Building a Forest and Pollinator Garden – March 10

Thursday, March 10th – Daniel Buckles, of Champlain Park, will outline how the community turned a paved street into a model forest and a pollinator garden. The project won the 2020 award from the Society for Organic Urban LandCare in recognition of its benefits to local wildlife, the urban forest and public engagement.

[Pollinator Garden June 24, 2021]

Join the Riverview Park Community Association on Zoom for a virtual presentation from 7:00pm – 8:00pm on the date shown above. Each presentation will be followed by a short Q & A. To attend, please register by sending a message to A link to the Zoom meeting will be mailed out to all registered participants a day before each session.

Their community association:
FORPGS stands for Friends of Riverview Park Green Spaces. They’re on Facebook.
The event was also mentioned in the Riverview Park Review – February 2022.

[Pontiac street rubble and stone dug up, ready for planting a small forest]

🌳 Cracks in a Linden Tree 🌲

From Daniel Buckles and Heather Pearl…

There is a crack, a crack in everything;
That’s how the light gets in.
(Leonard Cohen, Anthem)

Frigid temperatures. A “forever” Pandemic. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light. But it’s there. Days are getting longer. Spring is creeping closer. And sooner than we think, it will be time to plant trees.

The other day a neighbour asked us to look at a large European Linden tree in his yard. A deep, wide crack, the length of its trunk, had opened. Ever the opportunist, a squirrel now occupied the spot where the crack opens at the meeting of three main branches.

[Picture of a bulky Linden Tree trunk with a crack going all the way up]

The tree may need to come down, if it presents a hazard to people or property. Its much-loved summer shade will be missed, but with the light, will come the chance to plant two or three new trees. Native species would be best, less susceptible than European Lindens to the extremes of our local climate and better suited to offer food and habitat for native birds, mammals and insects.

The Champlain Park Community Association has the Trees in Champlain Park program to help:

Trees provide shade and interest, to our homes and to our streets. If you have a tree in your yard that is nearing its end of life, we can help you plan for and find a “succession tree” that can establish itself before the older tree needs to be removed.  If you have an open space, whether it’s small, or under hydro lines, or more roomy, we can suggest the right tree species for your space. For more information contact Daniel Buckles ( and Heather Pearl (

🌳 Trees in Champlain Park 🌲

What street in Champlain Park had the coolest temperatures on July 18, 2019? How much money do three blocks of trees in Champlain Park save the residents?

Find answers to these and other interesting questions, and find support to help you plant a tree on your property or in a public space, by visiting the new Trees in Champlain Park pages on the Association website:

[Trees in Champlain Park Screen Shot]

Just in time for the holidays: a gift that gives, as it grows! Enter the CPCA tree giveaway contest. Sign up to get a free tree from the City.

This is a project of the Champlain Park Community Association, in partnership with the CAFES neighbourhood tree canopy network.