I love the city. I love the hustle, the energy and most of all, knowing that I live and work in a world-class metropolis that is teeming with intellectuals, artists and cultural icons. I love the cuisine, the retail therapy, and the opportunity to seize each day with gusto. Toronto, you have my heart.
Alas, if I had to critique just one thing about this urban oasis, it would be my desire to see more greenery. And I’m not alone – a recent TD Environment survey found more than half of Canadians (56 per cent) feel most connected to the environment when they spend time at a local park or other green space. Understandably, this is hard to find in the heart of a metropolitan city – especially one as developed as Toronto.
So, you’ve heard of pop-up shops, yes? How about pop-up parks?
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) has set out to transform six urban concrete lots across Canada into temporary green spaces. Each park will offer up to five days of free community programming, such as educational workshops, fitness classes and live musical performances.
Expect to be surrounded by native grasses and trees. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and recharge on log seating. Spend a few moments enjoying outdoor activities. Watch as urban communities across the country get a little greener!
“We know that green spaces are vital to our well-being and our communities,” said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD FEF. “These pop-up parks are designed to surprise and delight visitors, and to bring to life the benefits of healthy, vibrant green spaces. Plus, what better way to celebrate 25 years of TD FEF than by bringing parks to people?” Indeed!
So, how can you get in on the fun?
1. Visit the pop-up park! TD FEF’s parks will be in Toronto on June 20 – 21, 2015 (that’s THIS weekend!). From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., TD FEF will transform a portion of Church Street (Church and Alexander Streets) into a pop-up park as part of The Festival in the Village. Open to the community, the park will offer free interactive activities and lawn games, as well as a performance by Sofonda Cox, to encourage everyone to come out and play.
2. Learn about #GreenWhereYouLive. TD FEF’s #GreenWhereYouLive campaign is designed to bring even more green spaces to communities across Canada by building the foundation’s monthly donor base and raising funds for local projects. From schoolyard naturalization and energy conservation, to tree plantings and environmental education, TD FEF is proud to provide funding to help sustain an incredible array of grassroots environmental programs across the country. In 2014, TD FEF supported over 1,000 projects with $4.9 million in funding.
3. Make a donation. Each TD FEF pop-up park will include donation stations and, as with any donation to TD FEF, 100% of the money raised will help green the community where the funds are generated. In addition to the donation stations within the parks, donations can be made online and at local TD branches.
“Thanks to the support of more than 150,000 donors we’ve been helping to green communities across Canada for 25 years,” continued Desjardins. “More donors mean that we can support even more environmental projects, such as schoolyard naturalizations, habitat restoration and community gardens in local communities. Since TD FEF’s inception, the foundation has disbursed over $70 million in support of more than 23,000 community-based environmental projects.”
To learn more about the TD FEF pop-up parks or to view a detailed schedule, visit fef.td.com. And if you do visit Toronto’s pop-up park this weekend, be sure to share your experience using the hashtag #GreenWhereYouLive on Twitter and Instagram.
A break away from the ordinary sounds like just what our city needs. Reconnect with nature, enhance your knowledge of the environment and help green your community. You can find it all at the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation pop-up park!