Inspired by an idea from authors Richard Louv and Douglas Tallamy, the David Suzuki Foundation is launching a project to create Canada's first "Homegrown National Park." This new crowd-sourced green urban corridor will be located in downtown Toronto along the former path of Garrison Creek, one of the city's most notable "Lost Rivers."
We will work with community organizations and local residents to enhance, restore and create urban green space. Together, we will get our hands dirty by planting native trees and shrubs, cultivating bird and bug-friendly gardens and growing food in backyards and balconies.
Through an innovative community leadership program, we will train a team of two dozen volunteer "Neighbourhood Park Rangers" that will champion the Homegrown National Park project. They will raise awareness, recruit local residents, host community events and organize planting projects. And they will promote the amazing array of activities offered by groups and agencies in the city.
Our goal is not only to spur green activities in hundreds of yards, balconies, roofs, alleyways, parks and green spaces. We want to make this urban corridor one of the greenest in the country and demonstrate that together we can bring nature home, one act at a time.
The David Suzuki Foundation's long-term goal is for the community to take pride and ownership of their Homegrown National Park and continue enriching this green space for years to come.
The project will begin with recruitment of at least a dozen groups and agencies that are actively involved in neighbourhood and site-level greening activities. At the same time we will recruit a committed team of local volunteers for the Park Ranger training. The leadership training session will take place in early April. Homegrown National Park-related events will take place throughout the summer, and a harvest ceremony will close out the growing season in the fall.
How to get involved
If you live, work or play in the Homegrown National Park area (roughly bounded by Dovercourt Road and Bathurst Street, running from Dupont Street to the waterfront) and are keen to get involved, you can apply to become one of our Neighbourhood Park Rangers. If you are involved in a group, agency or business within the area and want to get involved, please contact Jode Roberts.