Why Remember 11-11?
Remembrance Day, November 11, is a day of observance to honour and remember those soldiers who served and sacrificed for Canada. Building on the success of the painted wooden poppy project in 2018, the City’s Parks, Forestry & Environment Division engaged the community in a project with the goal of constructing a minimum of 1,111 poppies out of wildflower seed balls in an effort to also support our native pollinators. The seed balls were created by over 2,500 resident volunteers, students and community groups at events throughout 2019.
The poppy seed balls were lain as a collective display November 9-12, 2019, at Celebration Square, before being used in our natural areas to promote the growth of our native wildflowers and provide habitat for pollinators.
What are seed balls?
Seed balls (also known as seed bombs or earth balls) consist of a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of clay and soil. For the purposes of the 2019 Remember 11-11 project, we used a mix of wildflower seeds native to Southern Ontario that are known to be attractive to native pollinators. The mix includes seeds for: Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Sweet Ox-Eye/False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum) and Grey Headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).
Painted Wooden Poppy Project (2018)
The year 2018 marked the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I. To commemorate this occasion, Parks & Forestry engaged with the community with the goal of painting a minimum of 1,111 wooden poppies by Remembrance Day.
The poppies were painted on wood from ash trees removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer at community events throughout the year.
On Remembrance Day, the poppies were displayed altogether as one large poppy with others being left on the graves of veterans in the cemeteries and cenotaphs managed by Parks & Forestry before being chipped and recycled in the City’s parks and trails system at the conclusion of the project.
The project exceeded initial expectations and included the participation of over 3,000 volunteers. It is estimated that the project diverted 3-4 cubic metres of wood from landfills and captured 3-4 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Thanks to the overwhelming support of the residents and groups who have participated in this project.
The POPPY DESIGN is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under licence.