Percy Taverner Park

by Fenja Brodo

Imagine a park named after an ornithologist! Well that is exactly what happened the beautiful afternoon of Wednesday September 24th when a small pocket park was dedicated by Councillor David Chernushenko to the memory of Percy Taverner, ornithologist, architect and a former resident of the neighbourhood – Old Ottawa South.

Taverner: New sign for a new park.

Taverner: New sign for a new park.

Michel Gosselin (left) Curator of Birds, CMN and Dr. Mark Graham, Vice President Research & Collections, CMN.

Michel Gosselin (left) Curator of Birds, CMN and Dr. Mark Graham, Vice President Research & Collections, CMN.

On hand to celebrate this event were the designer of the park, a representative from Ontario Hydro, Dr. Mark Graham (CMN) who said a few words on behalf of Percy Taverner, Michel Gosselin (CMN curator of birds), Holly Bickerton (OFNC member and promoter of this name) and her children, Ted Sypniewski (whose idea it was in the first place), as well as friends and neighbours.

Ted Sypniewski (third from left), originator of the name and his supporting neighbours.

Ted Sypniewski (third from left), originator of the name and his supporting neighbours.

This park is at Woodbine Place and used to be an Ontario Hydro substation. Four imaginative bicycle racks border the entrance to this little pocket park. They are stylized Northern Cardinals reputed to be Percy Taverner’s favourite birds.

I recommend A Life with Birds: Percy A. Taverner, Canadian Ornithologist, 1875-1947 by John L. Cranmer-Byng, a special issue of the Canadian Field-Naturalist, 1996, volume 110, number 1, for a very nice read on Percy Taverner.

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