Highland Creek Valley, U of T Scarborough
  • October 3, 2021 - 1 – 4 pm

Mycological & Plant-Based Medicine Foray

An informal walk to learn more about the plants, trees, wildflowers, and fungi in the woods on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus

Led by Diane Borsato and Amish Morrell of Outdoor School, Alan Gan of the Mycological Society of Toronto, and Indigenous educator Joe Pitawanakwat, this informal foray in the Highland Creek Valley will provide opportunity for participants to gather and study wild mushrooms, learn more about plant-based medicines as well as their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal uses/properties, and enjoy and celebrate nature.

The walk will begin from the H-Wing Patio at U of T Scarborough at 1 pm and will go forward rain or shine. Masks will be required, physical distancing will be in place, and participants will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors before attending the program. All visitors to the U of T Scarborough campus must be fully vaccinated and may be required to provide proof of vaccination. Registration for this program is required.

Please dress for the weather, wearing good walking shoes, and pants that can be tucked into socks (for avoiding scratches/insect bites if going off path). It's recommended to bring a basket in which to collect the mushrooms, and a folding pocket knife to cut them. Additional recommendations can be found on the website of the Mycological Society of Toronto.

About the facilitators

Outdoor School is an ongoing series of activities that link contemporary art with outdoor education by Diane Borsato and Amish Morrell, in collaboration with various other practitioners. Projects include university courses, gallery exhibitions, mushroom forays, outdoor performances, forest teas, plant walks, outdoor lectures on radical camping, museum interventions, and more.

Alan Gan has contributed to the Ministry of Environment and Department of Parks and Recreation in archiving the collection of fungi around the Greater Toronto Area. He has presented talks and seminars on mushroom identification, and is currently leading a group of Asian mushroom enthusiasts for Spring and Falls forays.

Joe Pitawanakwat is Ojibway from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. He is an educator who specializes in plant-based medicine. He is the Founder and Director of Creators Garden, a year-round, Indigenous outdoor education-based business. He focuses on plant identification, sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of the linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance of plants through experience.