LEAF receives grant to create native learning garden

LEAF Learning Garden(Toronto, ON – June 15, 2011) Toronto-based LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) received $5,000 from The Rebuilding Nature Grant Program supported by The Home Depot Canada Foundation and led by Evergreen to complete its urban greening project this spring. The national grant program was created to support environmental stewardship projects that provide community members with opportunities to restore and care for urban landscapes.

When complete, the LEAF Learning Garden, located in Wychwood Park at 601 Christie Street, will give the general public an opportunity to see first-hand the important role native plants play in the urban environment and how they can be incorporated into gardens on private property.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the funding generously provided by The Home Depot Canada Foundation and Evergreen,” said Amanda Gomm, Manager, Volunteer and Community Engagement.

While many of the garden’s natural features are already in place, today The Home Depot, and LEAF volunteers installed storage benches, sign posts, saloon style doors and a garden arbor, designed to make the garden more welcoming and informative.

“The LEAF Learning Garden will take visitors on a journey through three types of gardens based on light conditions – Full Sun, Partial Shade and Shade”, said Ms. Gomm. “Each area contains unique native plants that thrive under these specific light conditions. As individuals walk through the garden, they will learn about the unique characteristics of each plant such as medicinal uses, its role in supporting wildlife, historic significance and whether it is threatened.”

The Rebuilding Nature Grant Program is a partnership between The Home Depot Canada Foundation and Evergreen, a national environmental organization that makes cities more livable through community naturalization projects. Since 2005, Evergreen has distributed $452,000 in grants and $212,000 in The Home Depot gift cards to 132 community organizations across Canada through this partnership.

“Sustainable urban greening is achieved primarily through deeply committed community groups across Canada,” said Geoff Cape, executive director, Evergreen. “The Rebuilding Nature program is an effective way to ensure these groups receive the funding and support they require to make their projects possible.”

“We are proud to provide funding and volunteer support to help communities across Canada complete their urban greening projects through our longstanding grant program with Evergreen,” said Gino DiGioacchino, Chair, The Home Depot Canada Foundation.

About The Home Depot Canada Foundation (www.homedepot.ca/foundation)
Since 2005, The Home Depot has worked with Evergreen to provide dozens of community groups across Canada with the funding, tools, materials and volunteers needed to complete community-based environmental projects through the Rebuilding Nature Grants Program. The Home Depot’s support of this program is all part of its commitment to give back to the community through The Home Depot Canada Foundation. Bringing together volunteerism, do-it-yourself expertise, product donations and monetary grants, the Foundation is committed to developing sustainable homes and communities for Canadians.

About Evergreen (www.evergreen.ca)
Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future. Since 1991, Evergreen has fostered healthy sustainable communities and increased awareness about the importance of nature in Canada’s cities by providing Canadians with the tools and knowledge to become stewards of the environment in their communities.

About LEAF (www.yourleaf.org)
LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) is not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Since 1996, LEAF has helped citizens plant over 16,000 native trees and shrubs in their neighbourhoods. LEAF actively engages residents in urban forest stewardship through:

  • Planting - subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program and hands on stewardship projects;
  • Education - guided Tree Tours, Presentations and Workshops; and
  • Training - 15 hour Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program designed to give individuals the tools to become engaged in urban forest issues in their communities.

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