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April 17, 2003
Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation Launches Community Grants Program on Earth Day 2003
Parks and Recreation - On Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, the Toronto Parks and
Trees Foundation and Toronto Parks and Recreation will officially launch the
2003 Community Grants Program at Dufferin Grove Park on Dufferin Street, just
south of Bloor Street West.

The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation is a non-profit organization that works
in partnership with Toronto Parks and Recreation to further the preservation of
the public park system as a resource and benefit for all Toronto residents. The
Community Grants Program is an initiative to provide an annual fund to support
volunteer and community initiatives to enhance Toronto's parklands and increase
park usage through park improvements and programming.

"The community grants program is truly that, a program to encourage communities
to support their parks so there's a built-in constituency of caring community
residents." stated George Dark, Chair of the Toronto Parks and Trees
Foundation. "We are fortunate to have such a committed organization as the
Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. I'm excited about the positive impact the
grants program will have on our Parks system" said an elated Claire
Tucker-Reid, General Manager for Toronto Parks and Recreation.

Eleven grants totalling $20,000.00 will be presented to this year's recipients
from proceeds generated from a fundraising event held in 2002. Grants will be
distributed to community organizations that have proposed projects in the
following areas: park improvements; recreation; environmental education and
preservation; arts and culture; and communications and public education. For a
complete list of the grant recipients and projects please refer to the
backgrounder below.

The Community Grant cheques will be given out on Earth Day, April 22, 2003 at
Dufferin Grove Park. That's the day to clean up the marsh fountain, add mulch
to the little tree nursery and the other native-species gardens, put compost
around the base of the trees, clip and smooth out broken branches so the trees
can heal their bark. We'll have leaf compost and wood chips, tree pruners,
shovels, and litter-pick bags available. We'll also have the pizza oven going,
to sustain the Earth Day gardeners.

The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has awarded community grants to the

Rehabilitation Foundation for the Disabled (Ontario March of Dimes)
-- To install a prototype accessible picnic table to increase access to City
parks to individuals with disabilities. This is city-wide initiative to install
accessible picnic tables in parks across Toronto.

Civic Garden Centre
-- To support a children's garden program which offers educational outreach
for children from low-income, high-density and ethnically diverse populations
throughout the city who generally have limited access to green space.

Clay and Paper Theatre
-- To create a Web site about Dufferin Grove Park activities which will
connect with other people who are concerned about parks. The group will share
stories of things that have worked out well for their park through community

Flemingdon Health Centre
-- To establish a new community garden at Flemingdon Park. The adjacent
high-rise apartments house many immigrants and newcomers to Canada.
Introduction of urban agriculture highly beneficial to enhance physical and
social environment.

High Park Citizens' Advisory Committee
-- To extend restoration plantings to the northeast entrance to High Park.
Planting to be done by high school students supervised by volunteers.

Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre - The Nook - Literacy Arts and
-- To offer free, high-quality children's programming through summer drop in
camp for high-risk, ethnically diverse children in Christie Pits Park.

Rexdale Women's Group
-- To encourage ethno-cultural seniors to become involved in improving the
appearance and ecological health of Finch-Islington Park.

Phoenix Community Works Foundation/L.E.A.F.
(Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests)
-- To provide a hands-on education and tree-planting program in new park in
Cliffcrest Community. Grant to support education component to provide
volunteers with better understanding of how trees function in the urban
environment and need for ongoing stewardship.

Black Creek Conservation
-- To create new native prairie wildflower garden in Black Creek Channel Park.
Project to involve more than 200 community volunteers and 200 high school

Sunshine Centre for Seniors
-- To create a rock garden on City parkland adjacent to the Toronto Islands
Seniors Centre on Ward's Island. Project to enhance recreational opportunities
for at-risk seniors and contribute to improved parkland environment.

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
-- To provide cultural day camp at Todmorden Mills. A summer day-camp program
to teach children about nature and expose them to traditional teachings by
means of storytelling, drum workshop, environmental education and nature walks.

Media Contact
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