For the basics, see
- Website & Privacy Policies
- How To Get Involved
- The Role of the Park

Search options:

up to a month to index new postings
web search

Search Newsletter:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map


posted May 11, 2006


The park gardens are picking up more volunteers. The early vegetables are planted, the cherry trees are in bloom, there’s a rhubarb experiment going on (have a look), and the great variety of spring bulbs that were donated last fall give colour to all the flowerbeds. The City’s 25 new trees are not in yet. But two sizable new '''sugar maples are newly planted near the cob courtyard, donated by Mary Wigle as a memorial for her husband Ziggy Kapsa'''. Park friend and gardener Gene Threndyle advised planting some '''aspens '''nearby, because sugar maples like shade when they’re getting started. So four backyard trembling aspens got transplanted to the park, and three of those survived the ordeal. Aspens grow very fast and within five years they’ll give some shade to the cob courtyard. The big aspen in the tree nursery south of the field house was brought there as a seed by a passing bird (according to Gene) and after ten years it’s as tall as a house.

Of four silver maples transplanted from people’s backyards last fall, three made it through the winter and are in leaf. These maples were planted south of the wading pool in place of the big tree that was cut down last summer.

If you like to grow things (or want to learn how) and want to help out in the park, Jenny Cook would love to hear from you. Call her at the rink house at 416 392-0913 or e-mail her at

From Kyla Dixon-Muir, who coordinates a community garden on land behind the City Adult Learning Centre (near Broadview and the Danforth):

“The garden was very seriously vandalized on Easter Sunday night. I had been there until dinnertime, and when I went back on Monday afternoon I was truly horrified and distraught over what I discovered. Not a thing was left untouched: the damage was rampant, willful, and malicious…..To make a very long story short, over a period of days of cleanup we found two pieces of evidence and were able to connect with some of the perpetrators. Turns out some kids in from a nearby city, visiting their aunt, went out late to take the dog for a walk. They hooked up with local kids in Riverdale Park, and ran amok.

Saddest part is the visitor kids are very disenfranchised:  three all with different fathers, and a mother who died of leukemia in November after a prolonged illness.  I still don't know who the local kids are, and probably never will, but with the support of the aunt, who lives just blocks from me, these three young offenders were put face to face with on of the 'victims' of their nasty behaviour.

I met with the kids at their aunt's home, showed them articles on the garden, showed them videotape of the work I'd been doing to build my ColdFrames and nurture the plants through the winter, then showed them a videotape of the destruction as seen by daylight. I cried as we watched it. Then we went to the garden, they saw what was left (after many, many, hours of cleanup) of the damage; they applied garden forks and spades to some of the plots; and then were invited to sample a range of plants to discover just what wonders from the soil there are even this early in the spring. They left with salad greens for their dinner….That night their aunt made them bring a load of bricks to the garden as a donation, and there are more to come.

The next day, Friday, I used some community connections to get them involved with kids their own age who were doing good for the land. Jackman Public School was holding a really big Earth Day event of recycling for the whole community, and the planting of their amazing array of spring gardens. When I explained to the parents and teachers what had happened at our garden, they really went the whole distance for me, trying to teach these kids some positive lessons.”

Kyla has followed up by connecting the kids to a community gardening group in their home city. Meantime, there is plant sale May 17 to 19 at the greenhouse of the City Adult Learning Centre to raise money for this garden and the greenhouse. It’s easy to get to, since it’s just 5 minutes walk from the Broadview subway station, in a surprising little wild corner of downtown. More information: 416 393-0661.

hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on May 17, 2006, at 04:47 PM EST