TD Park People Grants Build Vital Connections Between People and Parks
January 13, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has given Canadians a greater appreciation for the role parks and green spaces play in supporting our physical and mental health as well as the resilience of our communities.
Park People, with the support of the TD Ready Commitment, has launched this year’s TD Park People Grant program to help build the vital connection between people and parks at a time when people need it most.
In 2021, TD Park People Grants will support the work of 72 community groups across the country with micro-grants of $2,000 to support activities that promote environmental education, sustainability and stewardship in Canada’s parks and green spaces. This year, at least 50% of all grants will be given to underserved community groups, ensuring equity-seeking groups are involved in shaping the natural spaces that matter to them.
An activity organized by Le Carré et sa ruelle in 2020 thanks to the TD Park People Grants Program. Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Roch.
Throughout 2020, we were amazed and inspired by the in-person and virtual activities that connect people to parks and nature.
Some examples included:
- Vancouver’s Still Moon Arts Society invited the community to tune into nature and create a virtual symphony of bird songs to celebrate bird month. A local expert delivered an online presentation about early morning bird songs and what they mean. Then at 5:00 am the following day, participants headed outdoors to listen to the dawn bird chorus and record a minute-long audio clip of birds in their neighbourhood. These recordings were shared with Still Moon Arts, who compiled them into the Spectacular Dawn Chorus playlist available on their website.
- Springbank Hill Community Association in Calgary celebrated the city’s annual Neighbour Day with the Tokens of Hope Project. Over 200 wooden tokens and paints were given away at the community park. Then, neighbours decorated tokens with personal messages of hope and returned the tokens to the park, decorating a bridge. The tokens remained on display throughout the summer to lift the spirits of anyone walking by, and to beautify the park.
- The Neighbours of Meadowvale Park in Ottawa coordinated an Eco I Spy Challenge for the residents and children of the neighbourhood. A list of pollinator plants in bloom and native tree species with photos was provided to participants and the hunt was on to search for examples of these plants in the neighbourhood. Participants could submit pictures of their successful finds for a chance to win a gift certificate from a local business.
A pollinator garden. Photo credit: Friends of Dallington Pollinator Garden.
Starting today, qualified organizations and community groups who are interested in connecting their community to their parks and green spaces are encouraged to apply to receive a $2,000 grant to host their activities between April 17 and December 31, 2021. The application process is simple, and we’ve developed a number of resources to help groups host engaging community events that help build the vital connection between people and parks. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2021.