Votes + Inspiration = Appreciation this November!

This November has turned out to be a very exciting month for the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme. Check out our updates below to see what we’ve been up to!

Aviva Community Fund


Thanks to wonderful supporters like you, we made it into the top 5 projects in our category for the Aviva Community Fund contest!

For eleven years the Aviva Community Fund has been investing in charitable community initiatives across Canada.

The Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme (AAP) asked their many supporters to help secure votes in the Aviva contest, from October 6th to October 23rd for our Blanding’s Turtle Headstarting Project. The qualifying finalists were announced November 3rd.

The Toronto Zoo is embarking on a long term reintroduction project for Blanding’s turtles as part of an ecological plan to recover Blanding’s turtles in Rouge National Urban Park. The first of its kind in the GTA, it marks a significant step in 15 years of turtle monitoring and research implemented and managed by AAP.

Working with partners at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Parks Canada, hatchling Blanding’s turtles are raised at the Toronto Zoo until they are two years old. They are then released into the wild at a size that is more easily able to deter predators; giving them a head start in life.


Can’t see the above video? Click HERE, or learn more about the headstart project by clicking HERE

On November 3rd Aviva announced our project as a finalist, meaning we will receive a portion of our funding for this project! Each of the 40 finalists are eligible to receive the full amount for which they applied. Every finalist not selected for full funding will receive $5,000 towards their cause. The final decision will be released in December, stay tuned!

Thank you for everyone that voted!

Canadian Museum of Nature – Nature Inspiration Awards


The Nature Inspiration Awards recognizes individuals and organizations that, through their work on specific projects, encourage Canadians to take an interest in natural history, create links with nature and contribute to its preservation.

The Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme (AAP) was nominated as a finalist in the Not-for-Profit Organization Award, alongside the David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park, Toronto, Ontario; Ducks Unlimited Canada, Stonewall, Manitoba; and Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Although AAP did not win the final award, it was a great honor to be recognized and considered an equal leader in conservation and environmental stewardship alongside these large, well deserving organizations.

Nature Awards Group Photo
Winners, finalists and jury for 2015: Meg Beckel (Canadian Museum of Nature), Jason Edmunds and Cedar Swan (Adventure Canada), Meredith Brown (Ottawa Riverkeeper), Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, O.C., Guillaume Deblois, Sheldon Peddle (ACAP Humber Arm), Julia Phillips, Shannon Ritchie and Crystal Robertson (Toronto Zoo, Adopt-A-Pond program), Karen Mayrand and Sarah May (David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park), Alan DeSousa (Mayor of Saint-Laurent), Kristine Webber (Imagine Canada Standards program), Lyne Parent-Garvey (Hydro Ottawa), Ivan Semeniuk (The Globe and Mail), Geoff Green (Students on Ice), Michael Mesure (Fatal Light Awareness Program), Eleanor Fast (Nature Canada), Shelley Ambrose (The Walrus Magazine), Joyce Cheng and Sarah Hedges (Ontario Nature Youth Council), Keith Exelby (Royal Canadian Geographical Society), Jeff Westeinde (Ottawa Riverkeeper), Art Sterritt (The Coastal First Nation Alliance), Robert Ormstom (Ontario Nature Youth Council), John Nightingale (Vancouver Aquarium), Sheefra Brisbin (Nature Canada), Bill Lishman, Merebeth Switzer (Ducks Unlimited Canada), Spencer McGregor (Ontario Nature Youth Council), Catherine Dumouchel and Thérèse Baribeau (Groupe d’éducation et d’écosurveillance de l’eau).

Ontario Turtle Tally and FrogWatch Ontario Appreciation Day


On November 7th, Turtle Talliers and FrogWatchers from across the province gathered for a fun-filled day of presentations from frog and turtle stewards at the Toronto Zoo. They had opportunities to share photos and meet fellow conservationists, along with a chance to tour the Zoo’s reptile and amphibian exhibits! The day was very well attended by new and veteran citizen scientists alike.

Thank-you to everyone that came out and good luck with your future surveys!

Ontario Turtle Tally and FrogWatch Ontario are fun, citizen science, wildlife monitoring programs that collect and analyze turtle and frog observation information. Participants from across the province submit turtle and frog observations online throughout the year. The data we collect is used to determine distributions of Ontario’s reptile and amphibian species, identify important habitat in need of protection, and better understand threats impacting species at risk.


Funding for This Event Has Been Provided By:Env Can and On

For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit: and

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