How about a Homegrown National Park?

It’s important for us to remember that Hank Doornekamp isn’t the only man with vision for greenspaces in Kingston’s downtown. Many of us will find that this idea resonates much more than putting an office building in a waterfront park:

The David Suzuki Foundation launched the Toronto Homegrown National Park Projectin 2013, starting with the former path of Garrison Creek in the downtown west end [Toronto]. Two-dozen local residents were recruited as Homegrown Park Rangers, trained in community organizing and connected with local environmental and city-building organizations.

The rangers discussed common desires to make their neighbourhoods and the city more green and livable. They were also given evidence that, as the Harvard School of Public Health says, “even small amounts of daily contact with nature can help us think more clearly, reduce our stress and improve our physical health.” Then they returned to their home turfs with a simple mission: to make great things happen where they live, work and play, with the ultimate goal of co-creating a green corridor through the heart of the city.

These newly minted community leaders connected with local groups and agencies, participated in community events, made new partnerships and created opportunities for plantings in parks, yards, schools and laneways.

Friday’s article from the Toronto Star also notes:

Colossal crisscrossing hydro and railway corridors can be reimagined as recreational and naturalized spaces, such as Toronto’s proposed Green Line and ambitious 80-kilometre Pan Am Path.

Who wants to give the Suzuki Foundation a call? Let’s get moving on our own Kingston-scale naturalized networks and community building.

— Laura Murray


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