Get Involved and Take Action
The TTPBRS is operated by TRCA through The Living City Foundation (formerly Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto.) The Living City Foundation is an independently-governed charitable organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the natural environment in the Toronto region. Since inception in 1961, the Foundation has raised more than $40 million for a wide variety of environmental and heritage projects. The foundation raises funds in support of programs administered by TRCA.
TRCA has nearly 50 years of experience in the planning and implementation of environmental protection and enhancement programs, as well as public stewardship and outdoor education.
The TTPBRS Baillie Birdathon and the TTPBRS membership program are designed to be unique, fun and educational for participants with the goal of building a broad base of community support.
TRCA is working toward establishing TTPBRS as a permanent centre for bird studies and education. We rely on the dedication of volunteers, donors and members to operate our programs. The TTPBRS membership program provides opportunities for supporters to connect with birds, the environment and conservation in a unique and exciting way!
TTPBRS Membership Program
As a member you will receive:
Latest edition of the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Checklist
You will also receive special invitations to TTP events. These may include:
Spring Bird Festival
The Baillie Birdathon is a nation-wide sponsored bird count organized by Bird Studies Canada (BSC). Every year in May birders go out to try to tally as many species as possible in a 24-hour period. Registered Birdathoners are sponsored either at a flat rate or on a per species basis. An average of 7,000 people worldwide is involved every year as either participants or sponsors!
The annual Baillie Birdathon offers a great opportunity for organizations such as TTPBRS to raise funds in support of their operations. As a member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network, TTPBRS is eligible for a higher percentage of funds raised. Not only will your participation as either a sponsor or birdathoner help birds in Toronto, you will also be eligible for some great benefits and ultimately have a lot of fun and learn about birds!
Donations to TTPBRS are gratefully received either on-site at the research station or by sending a cheque to the the Living City Foundation (please inscribe TTPBRS on the memo line).
Make your backyard bird friendly by not using herbicides or pesticides, planting native plants that provide food and shelter for birds, installing bird feeders and/or erecting bird boxes for cavity nesting birds. You can also help by keeping your cat indoors - it is estimated that outdoor domestic cats kill or injure millions of birds each year! Some birds fly into windows and are killed or injured. You can help prevent these senseless deaths at home and at work by turning off or dimming the lights and by placing a sticker on large windows so birds recognize an obstacle. These small changes to how we live on a day-to-day basis can make a significant difference to the health of the environment.
The decisions that we make every day as consumers also impact birds from far reaching locales. An example of this is coffee. In recent years it has become more popular to grow coffee in large, mono-cultured plantations in Latin America. However, this farming practice is harmful to birds and to local communities. Recently a market has emerged for coffee grown in the shade of the natural forests, referred to as "shade-grown" coffee. By purchasing and promoting this product you are supporting sustainable agriculture that provides refuge for birds that pass through Toronto to and from their wintering grounds below the equator.
You can assist local bird conservation efforts by lending your support to the TTPBRS. The long-term operation of TTPBRS and the successful delivery of its programs are dependant on support from the local community. We need support in the form of volunteers, members and donors.
Between 2003 and 2005 over 9000 volunteer hours were contributed to TTPBRS programs! Volunteers lend valuable assistance to us and in return receive training and a rewarding experience with birds in the field. We typically have space for 20-30 volunteers per year although there are usually no more than 5 vacancies per year. Volunteers help in many ways, including bird banding and surveys, nest searching, data management, habitat assessment, maintenance, administration and interpretive duties.
Training is provided to those selected as participants in any of our programs. Some of our volunteers who began their training at TTPBRS have gone on to work as biologists across North America including Ohio, British Columbia, Costa Rica and various locations in Ontario. Since opening the research station we have received a high level of interest in volunteering for our monitoring programs, but unfortunately because space is limited we cannot provide opportunities for everyone in these programs. Applicants with suitable skills and a genuine passion for birds or intend to pursue a career in ornithology are given priority for participation in bird monitoring programs.
If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities please contact the TTPBRS Coordinator.