Crowdsourcing Toronto's "Homegrown National Park"

Led by the nonprofit David Suzuki Foundation, a volunteer workforce of "park rangers" is deploying creative green interventions along private properties and public spaces throughout Toronto to create a citywide green corridor.

"Inspired by an idea from Richard Louv--an author known for coining the phrase 'nature deficit disorder'--the Homegrown National Park Project is spearheaded by the David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental nonprofit based in Toronto," writes Adele Peters. Working with 21 volunteer Neighbourhood Park Rangers and 14 partner organizations, the foundation began an ambitious plan to establish a green corridor along the former path of Garrison Creek last year.

Over the summer, "the volunteers did everything from planting a network of flowers that would support pollinating insects to building park benches in front of their homes," adds Peters. "Someone turned a persistent pothole in their street into a mini-garden. Others added rearrangeable words to a chain link fence. Not all of the projects were strictly environmental, since part of the plan was simply to help create a sense of community."

"Next year, a new class of volunteers will continue adding more projects, and by 2015, the Suzuki Foundation hopes to have homegrown park rangers in each of the city’s 44 wards, helping stitch together green space that connects all 3 million residents."

Full Story: How The Homegrown National Park Project Is Greening Toronto

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