2022 Greener Greenspace Profile
Located in Ottawa, ON, Hampton Park is a naturalized city park co-stewarded by the community group Friends of Hampton Park to ensure the future health and integrity of this ecologically important greenspace.
Design and Process
Hampton Park is a 26-hectare city park in the centre of Ottawa. The park features woods with mature, mixed forest, open grassy areas, a meadow and other traditional park amenities. The community group Friends of Hampton Park was formed in 2019 out of concern for the ecological health of the forest. Since then, the group has been actively involved in stewardship activities to remove invasive species, lead citizen science projects, plant native understory plants and trees, and diversify plant species in the meadow.
The park had shown signs of decline over the past decade or so due to a greater number of visitors travelling through the park, invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer, and the proliferation of informal bike trails that disturb and compact soil and wipe out understory plants. In the past few years, volunteers have decommissioned informal trails to allow the soil to rebuild, planted understory native plants on slopes to prevent erosion, and removed invasive species to create room for native trees and plants. Their activities are guided by an ecological study they commissioned in 2019 that laid out the issues and the priority of actions to reverse damage to the park’s ecosystem.
The Friends of Hampton Park group works with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa to plan activities and monitor progress and issues of concern. The group has partnerships with neighbouring schools to grow native plants from seed and participate in removing invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed. Both elementary and secondary school classes visit the park to learn about the biodiversity and the need for better conservation measures to keep the park healthy into the future.
The Friends of Hampton Park draws on its large volunteer base and network of other community-based organizations to engage the public in educational and recreational activities that raise awareness and appreciation for the urban forest.
The woods in Hampton Park are a huge asset for the surrounding neighbourhoods. The woods allow you to feel immersed in nature and to benefit from the sounds and sightings of small mammals and birds.
To learn more about Hampton Park, visit Friends of Hampton Park’s Facebook page.
Watch a presentation of the community co-stewardship activities on SOUL's 2023 Webinar Series on Ecological Land Care
Photos c/o Friends of Hampton Park/Tree Fest Ottawa
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.See the full list of 2022 recognition recipients here