Sparking ChangeFostering community well-being in underserved neighbourhood parks
Sparking Change Where it’s Needed Most
In underserved communities, parks are a crucial but often untapped resource for youth engagement, health promotion, access to healthy local food, community economic development, environmental education, and physical recreation.
The Sparking Change program works with communities on the ground to transform underused outdoor spaces into dynamic green community hubs. Park People helps to organize local residents, create partnerships, access seed funding, and build momentum through events and activities. Download our Sparking Change report to learn more.
Park people works with its partners to spark innovative park programming in high-needs communities.
Together with TD Bank Group, Park People delivers the TD Park Builders Program which encourages community engagement and animation of vital community green space in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and low-income communities.
Under the program, Park People supports the work of existing volunteer Friends of the Park groups and community agencies in new immigrant and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. In addition, we foster the development of new Friends of the Park groups. As part of the program, there is also support for park events or small capital improvement projects ranging from $500-$5,000.
The TD Park Builders Program helps communities turn their green spaces into vital neighbourhood hubs.
More details on the program are in the attached program description below. To learn more about how to participate in the TD Park Builders Program, please review the funding guidelines here. If you have further questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing the Arts to Parks
Park People bring free Arts programming to underserved neighbourhoods to help bring these green spaces alive with culture and to help local Friends Groups and non-profit organizations help realize their vision for their local park. In the past year, we’ve been part of two key programs that focus on animating underserved parks.
- Park People partnered with The Toronto Arts Foundation’s to deliver its Arts in the Parks program. In its first year, Arts in the Parks brought over 30 artists to more than 30 underserved parks resulting in more than 100 incredible summer performances
- Moonlight Movies brought 1,800 enthusiastic fans into parks in underserved neighbourhoods to see free, popular movies in the open air. These movies help animate parks and jumpstart community engagement in sparking parks’ potential.
The Panorama Community Garden has become the “go to” space in the Rexdale Community… Park People has worked closely with gardeners to develop their leadership and empower local residents to develop their own projects and invest in the community.Tania Fernandes
We now have a partnership with the City of Toronto, with many different organizations in Bathurst Finch and across the city as well as with the great diversity of people who live in this community. Park People has helped us build our capacity and our confidence to work with reputable partnership like Heritage Toronto to make our community a better place to live.Angie Buado
Sparking Change Stories:
With the start of a City-initiated study of the Green Line this year and money budgeted for improvements, the future 5km linear park and trail is set to take a huge leap towards reality in the next three years. Park People put together a video highlighting the...read more
This year was an exciting one for public spaces in Toronto. There was the announcement of the Under Gardiner (now The Bentway), Rail Deck Park, a renewed Grange Park, a “super park” in the Lower Don Valley, and strong support for The Green Line. Toronto is booming in...read more
JTG: Your work at the Trust for Public Land really takes you across the United States. What are some of the inspiring actions you’ve come across that may not get as much media attention as the High Line and other high-profile park projects? AB: What I’m seeing is a...read more