Students will be tasked with acting as consultants to the team at Tommy Thompson Park. Tommy Thompson Park is located on the Leslie Street Spit. It is an urban wilderness with opportunities for light recreational uses. The park has specific rules which aim to create, enhance, restore and protect the natural features of the manmade landscape while providing recreational opportunities for all. The main objectives of the staff and the park are to:

  1. Preserve significant species;
  2. Protect environmentally significant areas;
  3. Enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats; and
  4. Enhance public recreation opportunities.

When open to the public on evenings, weekends and holidays, people use the roads and paths for biking, running and walking.  There are rules in place to help people use the park in harmony with the wildlife. However, rules are frequently broken. For example, the speed limit of the park is 20 km/h and cyclists exceed that limit on a regular basis. Other rules that are often broken are:

  • No dogs, e-bikes, no drones, no skating, no fires, no camping
  • Removing anything from the park is not permitted. This includes: plants, plant parts, sediment, bricks, wildlife in any form etc.
  • Staying on the trail

This behaviour negatively impacts the wildlife and its growth. Not all guests follow the rules, which puts people and nature at odds.

How might we help the TRCA design Tommy Thompson Park for all?