Since 1991, Evergreen, a not-for-profit headquartered in Toronto, has been working to reconnect urban populations with natural environments.

With four major areas of focus—Greenspace, Children, Food and CityWorks—these programs are running in urban centres across Canada.

Greenspace 

Urban ecology, or greenspace development, “connects individuals with the natural world through hands-on community initiatives, with a particular focus on promoting and restoring the natural environment within the city landscape.”

Thriving greenspaces also make for healthier communities, both for wildlife and the people living in those communities.

Projects include:

  • Planting and stewardship events
  • Workshops
  • Team-building activities
  • Education
  • Partnerships with community groups
  • Grant programs

Children 

The Evergreen Children programs are a way of getting kids off the couch, away from their Xboxes and outdoors enjoying fresh air activities. There are many developmental benefits for children that are aware of and in tune with their natural environments, both physically and mentally. For more information on these benefits, please see Your Brain on Nature.

Projects include:

  • Education
  • Greening of school grounds
  • Summer day camps
  • Youth leadership

Food

Much has been written recently about the economic benefits of buying locally. There’s even a way of eating and a book called The 100 Mile Diet.

There are also many health benefits derived from eating locally produced food, including the fact that the food tastes so much better because it’s fresh! None of these picked-before-ripe, transported-two-thousand-miles fruits and vegetables.

Programs connecting food and people include working with farmers and producers and garden and kitchen educational workshops.

Check out this page for delicious recipes too!

CityWorks 

“An extension of the work Evergreen is already doing on the ground, CityWorks is intended as a platform on which we can bring together municipalities, researchers, community organizations and other stakeholders working towards the development of greener cities.”

Work includes Action Labs with stakeholders to explore innovation and sustainability and fostering collaborative discussions amongst all.

Evergreen Brick Works

This is not only a sprawling space where Evergreen HQ is located, but a “community environmental centre.”

The Farmers’ Market is held here each Saturday and Sunday. This location also houses Arts & Exhibits, a skating rink, Café Belong and an electronics-recycling depot among other shops and services.

Looking for office rental space? Evergreen Brick Works has it.

How about a perfect spot to host your event? Yes, that can be found here too.

National Geographic named Evergreen Brick Works one of the top 10 geotourism spots in 2010!

It’s located at 550 Bayview Avenue in Toronto. Check here for directions to get there.