If all goes according to plan, the whole of Ward 19 could become Canada’s first “Homegrown National Park.”
The ambitious plan is being headed by the David Suzuki Foundation, which is partnering with a number of other community organizations working toward making the city greener.
It calls for a major greening of an urban corridor and involves organizations such as Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Not Far from the Tree, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and others.
Together, they are looking to ensure as much of the ward as possible is converted into usable green space, which has been shown to improve the health and quality of life of local residents, reduce stress and crime and offer other benefits.
“It all started with an idea from American author Richard Louv, who talks about how the links between children with ADD, ADHD and obesity and a lack of organized time outdoors,” said Jode Roberts of the David Suzuki Foundation. “The idea is, less screen time and more green time.”
The corridor will run along the former path of Garrison Creek, one of the city’s lost rivers which ran from the Humewood area down to the harbourfront, and will entail everything from tree planting to enhancing flora in yards to improving alleyways and parkettes.
Most importantly, the initiative will put the power in the hands of community members, with locals invited to apply to become a Neighbourhood Park…
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