Every Tuesday, Todd Irvine of LEAF posts a stop from the Toronto Tree Tours, a collaborative project of LEAF and the Toronto Public Space Committee. The Toronto Tree Tours offers walking tours in neighbourhoods across the city as well as virtual tours on its web site. The aim is to introduce Torontonians to the individual trees in their neighbourhood while telling stories of our city’s ecological and cultural history.
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The Tree Tours are not all trees. This week’s stop is a profile of a community garden, to remind us on this frigid, grey day that summer will eventually return.
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Tour: Stop 8
Children from the nearby daycare and school have helped local resident Dan O’Leary plant and maintain this lovely vegetable garden, located in Princess Street Park. Officially called â€œThe Princess Park Children’s Play Garden,â€ it has all the ingredients to grow pizza toppings (vegetarian, naturally). The summer yield includes wheat, vegetables, Thai basil, and some less traditional pizza ingredients such as beans, peas, carrots, beets, and Swiss chard. The garden also features a children’s learning circle and an eco-shed with a living roof and composting.
By helping to plant the garden, the children come to appreciate its value and learn that trampling on the plants as they grow would ruin their hard efforts. Most importantly, they learn that they can grow delicious vegetables in their own neighbourhood park. This simple project demonstrates the educational and ecological benefits of parks in dense urban areas.
Photo by Luke Tyszkiewicz: www.stillsinflux.com