Green Toronto Awards celebrate enviro-ideas

It’s all fun and games for three of this year’s eco-friendly winners

One of the great treasures Toronto has to offer is that you don’t have to travel far within the bustling city to connect with nature.

I went for a peaceful walk in High Park in late April and watched people fishing along Grenadier Pond and admired the flowering Cherry Blossom trees.

The High Park Nature Centre is dedicated to protecting this 162 hectares of green parkland, which is home to some rare vegetation.

For example, this west end park has the fourth largest population of black oak savannah trees in the world, according to

The nature centre provides year-round outdoor environmental education programs for all ages including summer camps and school programs.

The centre got an award of excellence as part of the 2010 Green Toronto Awards.

Another group honoured this year is Sketch, which provides art, cooking, music, martial arts, dance and gardening opportunities for street youth aged 15-29. Almost 300 volunteers have provided 1,500 mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities over the years, according to

If you think of the environment as a perfect place to play, you may appreciate another Green Toronto Awards honouree Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, which started in Toronto and has now grown across Canada, the UK and the United States.

Natural Playgrounds are designed and built by Gardens for Life. For examples of their work check out YMCA High Park Daycare where there are slides built into hills, or visit for photos of the green spaces that generally incorporate tree stumps for seats and tables, log forts and musical instruments.

Cookstown Greens was also honoured even though it’s not based in the city. The food distributor grows, harvests, cleans, sorts, packs and delivers orders directly to you in Toronto.

Each order is custom tailored with a variety of in season vegetables, salad greens, edible flowers and organic seedlings such as baby pea shoots.

Around since 1988, you can also pick up their produce, at the same price as delivery from Cookstown, at local grocers such as A.J Lanzarotta and Hilite Fine Foods, according to

And these were just the runners up not the 10 finalists. For more information on some of the green innovation happening in this city, visit

And perhaps you know of an individual or group worthy of nominating for next year or you can start your own environmental initiative.

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By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: May 11 2010 11:08 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto