April 15, 2013
Chapters help kids all year long
Arvils Lukss, Toronto Chapter president and Toronto Chapter past president Lindsay Drake Nightingale take time out during Canada Blooms to present Andrea Hoover, Child Life Department, Sick Kids (centre), with a $5,000 donation on behalf of the Chapter. Hoover plans to use the money to add an interactive component to the rooftop garden at the hospital by adding planting benches for children to monitor the growth rate of small plants and vegetables during their stay.
Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations

Denis FlanaganLO members have created many opportunities for children to become involved with horticulture throughout the year.

Our Waterloo Chapter continued its greening schools competition, with the announcement that this year’s winning entry is Elmira District Secondary School. We will be following the project as it unfolds and publish a feature article sometime this summer.

To support the garden built by Toronto Chapter members at Sick Kids Hospital, a further donation of $5,000 was presented to the Child Life Department. The goal is to develop gardening programs at the hospital. I’m sure as the plans develop, the Chapter will need some ideas, materials and volunteers; please contact us if you are interested in being involved.

Canada Blooms was a big hit with young families during March Break this year, as parents busily captured shots of gazebos and waterfalls on their smart phones and tweeted thoughts about the latest plants. The next generation of gardeners could be seen jumping and rolling on the turf areas, getting their hands dirty in the ever-popular natural playground created by Adam Bienenstock, or at the wonderful new kids activity area sponsored by Fafard and Floral Dimensions.

young girl at a flower showThe next generation of gardeners are inspired at Canada Blooms.
There seems to be a tremendous momentum in the industry to support gardening programs for children. I asked Louis Damm, owner of Floral Dimensions Flower Farm from Fenwick, for his thoughts. This is what Louis had to say, “It is very important to engage children, along with their parents and grandparents, in gardening. Gardening is a survival skill that leads to the understanding of long term nutritional health. The obesity concerns that are experienced today can only be overcome by understanding good nutrition from food sources. This starts by growing fresh food in the garden. Like learning to ride a bike, gardening skills will take children to new experiences. The Children’s Garden Experience at Canada Blooms is a wonderful platform for us to do our part in teaching this gardening skill, while offering parents and grandparents a place to start teaching this survival skill.”

I agree with Louis. We continually watch our LO members juggle family life along with developing their business plans, yet they still find time to contribute to the big picture. We look forward to following those stories this year and into the future.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com.