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EcoSpark Resources

This section is under restoration - if you are looking for a specific EcoSpark resource, or have any questions please contact [email protected] with your request.

Environmental Education

Citizen Science



​Environmental Education

Going with the Flow: An analysis of Check Your Watershed Day, 2006 to 2010

An in-depth analysis of all of the citizen science data collected from five years of Check Your Watershed Day across 17 unique watersheds in southern Ontario.

Trees of the Oak Ridges Moraine

Learn how to identify the most commonly found trees on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Our Solar Future

In 2010, EcoSpark partnered with the Toronto District School Board to develop Our Solar Future, a program to connect school solar panels with elementary student learning.

Wattwize: Teacher Guide

An energy conservation guide for teachers with contextual information, instruction, suggestions and handouts to support a successful electricity conservation project with energy meters.

Our Green Schools

The Our Green Schools program with the Toronto District School Board included a documentary program where we coached high school students from five TDSB schools to create exciting top quality environmental films based on the issues they were most concerned about. These documentaries were publically screened with much success to a packed audience at the Revue Cinema on June 1st, 2011. Topics included solar PV, sustainability, e-waste, LEED certification, recycling and sustainability at school.

Click here for a copy of these documentaries.


The Water We Drink

Complete with lesson plans, activities and learning extensions this guide will support your efforts to bring watersheds to life in (or outside of) the classroom.

For more information about The Water We Drink, or to register for a Nature Academy workshop visit, www.natureacademy.ca/the-water-we-drink


The Air We Breathe

Complete with lesson plans, instructions and data sheets this guide will provide you with the tools and information to have your students monitor and understand local air quality!

For more information about The Air We Breathe, or to register for a Nature Academy workshop visit, www.natureacademy.ca/the-air-we-breathe


Our Urban Pollinators

This guide will introduce you to the many ways to use your school grounds to support healthy pollinator populations AND student learning! Learn about our most common local pollinators and bring pollination education to your classroom!

For more information about Our Urban Pollinators, or to register for a Nature Academy workshop visit, www.natureacademy.ca/our-urban-pollinators


The Geography of the Greenbelt

 Learn more about the policies and practices that protect and threaten Ontario’s Greenbelt and its natural resources. Lesson ideas and extensions allow you to use Ontario’s Greenbelt as a case study for science, biology, language arts, civic studies and geography!

For more information about The Geography of the Greenbelt, or to register for a Nature Academy workshop visit, www.natureacademy.ca/the-geography-of-the-greenbelt

Citizen Science

Water Quality: Monitoring with Benthic Macroinverebrates (Changing Currents Field Manual, 2013)

This manual is used in our Changing Currents program. The stream study field manual was developed specifically for citizen scientists in consultation with academics, consultants and conservation authorities, and is complementary to provincial benthic monitoring programs.

Check Your Watershed Day Protocol

A volunteer stream survey to measure baseflow and perched culverts, this protocol was developed with staff from the MNRF and Conservation Halton for use during “summer low flow” and is currently a module within the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP).


Planning / Policy

Oak Ridges Moraine

Citizens’ Guide to the Oak Ridges Moraine 

EcoSpark produced the Citizens’ Guide to the Oak Ridges Moraine as a primer about the landscape including how it was formed, its ecological and hydrological functions, its cultural history, people stewarding the landscape, its plan and legislative review.

Action Guide to Monitoring on the Moraine 

EcoSpark developed this guide to build the capacity of local groups who wanted to undertake an environmental initiative in their community on the Oak Ridges Moraine. It includes many organizational and project development worksheets including: determining your purpose; choosing your activity; identifying your audiences; managing your data; communicating to your audiences; evaluating your effectiveness. By filling in the worksheets provided, the end result is a strategic monitoring plan for the group. This guide has been used by community groups both on and off the moraine.

Moraine Watch: A Beginner’s Guide to Monitoring Land Use on the Oak Ridges Moraine

The Moraine Watch Beginner’s Guide is an easy way for volunteers to become the “eyes and the ears” of the Oak Ridges Moraine by tracking activities like dumping, new developments and tree cutting on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Learn about the different kinds of permitted land uses on the moraine, systematically track your local concerns/issues and improve your understanding of local politics and local decision-making.

Moraine Watch: A Guide to Monitoring Municipal Land Use Planning on the Oak Ridge Moraine

This program was developed in partnership with STORM and is the first policy monitoring program for volunteers to systemically track moraine-related concerns. The worksheets recorded all of the pertinent information related to the issue that is required for follow-up (e.g., contacts and file numbers). Furthermore, this resource was significant in building community capacity as it demystified planning jargon and information about land-use activities. It enabled citizens to have an informed conversation with their municipal planner, and it created a better understanding of who was the decision-making body behind different land-use activities (e.g., a conservation authority, the municipality or a ministry) as well as what issues were not under the purview of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan as they were not considered to be land-use activities (e.g., permits to take water). Through this program we tracked over 80 local issues across the landscape in a systematic way. Municipal staff have also used our Moraine Watch program to train new planners.

2006 Status Report on the Implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan: Implications for the Greenbelt Plan

The first status report published for the Monitoring the Moraine program documents the provincial and municipal progress in the implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP), highlighting its successes and challenges, as well as future implications for Ontario's Greenbelt, and the upcoming Greenbelt Plan review.

Please note the following corrections to the pdf:

  1. On the watershed planning map, Lower Trent and Otonabee Region were erroneously transposed.

  2. On the upper-tier municipal progress map, Simcoe County is correctly credited with adopted wellhead protection policies. The accompany text erroneously reported otherwise.

  3. Regarding official plan conformity, Counties of Simcoe and Peterborough submitted on or immediately following the October 22, 2003 deadline set for non-regional municipalities.

  4. Exceptions to the text in “Tree-Cutting By-Laws” are Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, and Cavan-Millbrook-North Monaghan as they did not report any tree protection controls.

2007 Status Report on the Implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan: A Look at New Infrastructure Projects

This status report documents the implementation progress since the 2006 status report, as well as focuses on infrastructure projects (section 41 of the ORMCP). The status of environmental assessments (EAs) for transportation, infrastructure and utilities projects on the moraine is documented since 2001 as there is no centralized agency to track moraine-specific EAs.


2012 Monitoring the Moraine Status Report: Compliance, Infrastructure, and Community Concerns (Full Report)

The 2012 status report continues to monitor municipal compliance to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, as well as infrastructure projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine. A new addition to the status report is the reporting of the issues from the Moraine Watch Program, i.e., community concerns on the Oak Ridges Moraine. The report includes detailed information and maps on municipal compliance, infrastructure projects and community concerns as tracked through the Moraine Watch policy monitoring program.

Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership for 2015: Stronger Laws. Stronger Landscape. Stronger Legacy. 

This document outlines the 48 policy recommendations submitted through the Environmental Registry on May 28, 2015 (#012-3256) on behalf of the Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership for 2015 (EcoSpark, Earthroots, Ontario Nature and STORM). These recommendations are organized in three themes: Stronger Laws, Stronger Landscape and a Stronger Legacy.

Building a Greener City from the Bottom Up: EcoSpark’s Final Report to the Live Green Toronto Community Animation Program, 2009-2012.

This final report to the City of Toronto’s Energy and Environment Office outlines the successes, impact and challenges of the community animation program, trends in community interests and projects across Toronto, as well as recommendations on moving forward with community animation in Toronto.

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