Community Connections to Nature focus of TD Park People Grant Recipients
June 1, 2021
Together, Park People and TD Bank Group launched the TD Park People Grants program to help communities better connect to nature and each other. Since 2016, the grants have been awarded, through the TD Ready Commitment, to 365 grassroots community groups and community-based non-profits –the groups that know their communities best. This year, TD Park People Grants were awarded to 72 community park groups in Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Greater Toronto Area, National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau), Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax Regional Municipality.
Photo credit: Richmond Nature Park Vancouver
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been particularly proud to continue supporting impactful events that demonstrate the tremendous creative capacity that lives at the heart of our communities. At a time when many people are understanding and experiencing the benefits of parks more than ever, we have continued to support a National Network of community park groups that nourish the vital connections between people and nature.
Since the program’s launch, Park People and TD have prioritized equity-seeking groups in the outreach and granting process. This year, we established a focus on these groups, ensuring that 50% of TD Park People Grants are dedicated to equity-seeking groups in cities across Canada.
Photo credit: Neighbours of Meadowvale Park
This approach has resulted in outstanding environmental education, sustainability, and stewardship programs in communities across Canada. Among the groups awarded TD Park People Grants this year are those serving people with disabilities, Latin American and Chinese populations, Indigenous communities, Black-led organizations as well as groups representing people experiencing homelessness, seniors, and many others.
Some of the projects funded with a 2021 TD Park People Grant include:
- Based out of Vancouver, Accessible Nature Wellness Programs Inclusive of People with Disabilities identified that people with significant levels of physical disability experience reduced access to community programs including those taking place in parks and green spaces in the Metro Vancouver area. With support from TD Park People Grants, they are hosting several virtual forest bathing sessions that are inclusive of people with disabilities. These 2.5 hr nature-based mindfulness programs are designed to promote wellbeing and inspire community engagement in public green spaces.
- Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton is hosting an event inviting five cultural groups (Chinese/East Asian, Indigenous, African, South Asian and Middle Eastern) to reflect on and share the role of parks and green spaces in their cultural communities. Other events include a virtual ravine heritage tour and workshop on park stewardship with a focus on Edmonton’s Chinese Garden which houses Chinese architecture, sculptures and horticulture.
- An inspiring youth organization in Montreal’s Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Les Ballons Intensifs, has a vision to create “a world without psychological, socio-economic and identity barriers.” To help youth leaders become engaged and create change in their community they’re adding green leadership training involving gardening and public consultations on their local green spaces to their basketball training camps.
Join us for more than 216 events hosted by TD Park People Grants, which are taking place from April 17 through December 31. 2021. Visit the TD Park People Grants page to learn about events happening in your community.
Feature photo credit: Yoga in Riley Park – Water for Riley.