May 15, 2018
The Toronto Chapter’s 2017 bursary program supported a number of community initiatives, including Bowery Project — a not-for-profit organization that grows food for local shelters in milk crates on vacant lots.
This year, the Toronto Chapter of Landscape Ontario decided to repeat the bursary program initiated in 2017 that offered grants to community greening initiatives. Due to the overwhelming number of fantastic applications last year, the chapter board also decided to increase the budget for 2018. A total of $15,000 was made available to distribute to applicants, with a maximum of $1,500 awarded to any one project.

The intent of the bursary program is two-fold: to encourage and support worthy greening activities in communities, and to promote Landscape Ontario’s ‘Green for Life’ brand. This year, the chapter received requests to support community gardens, pollinator plantings, native plant gardens, laneway rehabilitation projects, as well to support organizations that in turn support all these activities through sharing of knowledge and resources.

The successful applicants for the 2018 program are:
  • Bilton Laneway
  • Bowery Project
  • Cedarvale Community Garden
  • The Church of St. Stephens in the Field
  • The David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project
  • Donview Middle Health and Wellness Academy
  • Guildwood Butterflyway Project
  • Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto
  • Laneway Garden Laneway Project
  • Oakvillegreen Conservation Association
  • Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area
  • PARC
  • The Seed Library Commons
  • Sunnybrook Hospital
All successful applications included a clear vision of community benefit from the project; a viable implementation plan, including a realistic budget; a strong, experienced team of engaged volunteers and ongoing maintenance planning. In many cases the projects reflected long-term engagement by dedicated community members, and it was gratifying to the committee members who reviewed the funding requests to be able to support these enterprising groups.

The chapter invites all LO members to review the list of projects and to consider supporting one of these projects directly by way of labour, materials or expertise. Some members have already agreed to provide materials or services to some of the projects at no cost. Many of the funding requests included purchase and delivery of soil amendments, mulch or plant material. Members could help out by providing left-over paving materials, extra plants or natural stone, or simply offering to deliver materials at cost or for free to help maximize a projects budget and allow for other expenditures.

Keep an eye on LO’s social media outlets for updates throughout the season as these projects get under way. LO members should take pride in knowing the fundraising activities of local chapters helps to support many deserving initiatives.

If you would like to support one of the community projects, contact Myscha Stafford at myscha@landscapeontario.com.