Photo: Help grow a Homegrown National Park in Toronto in 2014!

Credit: Jode Roberts

When we began the Homegrown National Park Project in the spring of 2013, we weren't sure what to expect. We had grand plans to create a green corridor along the former path of Garrison Creek, in the heart of Toronto. We partnered with 14 community groups that were active in the area. We recruited 21 eager volunteers from the area to be our Neighbourhood Park Rangers. And we put the Park Rangers through a training session that instilled in them knowledge and inspiration.

What happened next was extraordinary!

If you live, work or play within the 2014 boundaries for the Homegrown National Park, we would love your help!

With your help, we'll build on last year's momentum and expand the footprint of our Homegrown National Park to the "Greater Garrison" corridor in 2014 — including municipal ward 19, plus wards 17, 18, 20 and 21.

HGNP---Map---2014-(Website-sizing).jpgAs a newly minted Homegrown Park Ranger, you'll be part of a dynamic team committed to transforming the city of Toronto, one green intervention at a time.

Motivated, creative individuals can apply to participate our innovative Homegrown Park Ranger leadership program that empowers participants to take meaningful action in their communities and start to make awesome things happen. Working cooperatively, Park Rangers will develop and launch new green projects and events throughout the season. Here are just some of the things Park Rangers might be involved in:

  • Bringing together neighbours to create a pollinator corridor on their block by adding native plants and flowers to each property;
  • Encouraging local businesses or institutions to plant trees or create a garden on their property;
  • Recruiting volunteers to clean up a local park or plant native trees and plants
  • Encouraging restaurants to use locally grown produce to create a "homegrown" special for their seasonal menu;
  • Rallying condo residents to plant balcony gardens or create a rooftop garden.

Park Rangers begin their term with a two-day training workshop on March 1-2, 2014 at the David Suzuki Foundation office in Toronto.

Rangers will then work with the David Suzuki Foundation, the 2013 Park Ranger team and local partners to spread the word and spur green activities in the months that follow. David Suzuki Foundation staff will provide strategic guidance, project planning support, public recognition and ongoing mentorship to all Park Rangers throughout.

Benefits of being a Homegrown Park Ranger

  • Be a part of an innovative leadership program;
  • Extensive training in community organizing, urban nature restoration, and advocacy;
  • Design and implement a unique initiative that will enhance the nature in your community;
  • Expand your personal network and develop meaningful roots in your community;
  • Learn about native wildlife and the diverse benefits access to green space can provide to urban residents;
  • Park Ranger training manual and resources; and
  • An official Homegrown Park Ranger t-shirt!

Check out this video from last year's Park Ranger training and meet the 2013 recruits.

How to apply

We are searching for two-dozen motivated community leaders from within the 2014 boundaries for the Homegrown National Park. This includes municipal wards 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 — roughly from Eglinton Avenue to the waterfront, between Keele Street and University Avenue. Applicants should live, work or play within the park boundaries.

You can apply as an individual, but we also welcome team applications. Consider recruiting a friend from your neighbourhood, workplace, club or community association.

Park Rangers will be selected through a competitive process. Applications will be considered as they are received so apply early!

Application deadline: February 10, 2014
Selection deadline: week of February 17, 2014

Please read the program FAQs prior to submitting your application. All applicants will be notified of the status of their applications via telephone or email.

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