Boddy: Please stop destroying the Woods of Hampton Park

By Sharon Boddy, Ottawa Citizen, September 12, 2020

Hampton Park is one of Ottawa’s most beautiful public parks. Situated on the southern boundary of Kitchissippi, it contains a small urban forest, the Hampton Woods.

To passers-by on Island Park Drive, the Woods look lush and green, so it’s easy to understand why some people can’t see the forest for the trees. Inside the Woods, however, it’s different story. The smaller under-story plants, which make up the majority of biomass in forests, are disappearing. To properly maintain soil health, forests need a diversity of plant species.

One uncommon native plant, twisted rose stalk, has disappeared since it was observed in 2003; many others are at risk from the park’s 20+ invasive plant species. Although some of these invasives came in on the wind or through animal waste, many are spread unknowingly by feet, paws and bicycle tires.

The Wood’s most mature trees are suffering from invasive species, storm damage, and a lot of human ignorance. Trees are painted, carved, have their branches and leaves ripped off, their roots exposed, or their bark damaged or stripped.

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