Sunday, April 29, 2012

Community Environment Day in East York

It's that time of year again, time for the rotating Community Environment Days in the City of Toronto. (For a complete schedule of events by date and councillor, check here.) Today it was East York's turn (Janet Davis' ward) and, as usual, it was held in the parking lots close to our building by the rink and pool. Sarah and I headed down around 11:30 to check it out (it runs from 10AM - 2PM) because it's just such a beautiful day and it's a great excuse to get out and circulate a bit. I took a few pictures, too.

This is usually my favourite part of Environment Days at Stan Wadlow and this year was no exception. By the time I got downstairs to take pictures this pile of compost was a small fraction of the size it was at 10AM when the event opened. From our balcony it looked like little ants on a pile of dirt with everyone scrambling around to pick up their free "trunkful" of mulch. Sarah was thinking about getting some for our balcony plants, but it smelled so bad that we decided to pass.

This is the first year in the last few that it wasn't raining and/or bitterly cold for this event so this pile has been "well-attended" to say the least. It's actually quite calm in these pictures but even as I write this I can see from my window that there is quite a crowd there once again and the mulch is almost completely gone.

This is where I dropped Sarah off (tee hee)

There were drop-off places for a great many different household items today. I think this is a terrific idea and some of the people working at the event were quite busy receiving the items coming in. It seemed to me that the Household Hazardous Waste people were the busiest, which I think kind of makes sense. I think more people are aware that you shouldn't just throw out a can of paint than are aware that you also shouldn't throw out old computer components. As time goes by I think the message will eventually get out. In the meantime, every little bit helps! The Arts & Crafts materials they were looking for are actually donations for Artsjunktion, a "depot for receiving and distributing donated materials and supplies to be used in educational and creative programs within the TDSB." A very worthy cause indeed.

East York Arena snack bar
East York Community Garden
"Not Far from the Tree" table
There were several tables set up by volunteer organizations and community workers as well. We signed a petition for the East York Arena snack bar, which has been community-run for years and which Toronto City Council has voted to turn over to a corporation to run instead. This will increase the prices at the snack bar and, more importantly, will take away a huge source of revenue for the hockey and skating programs there (the community-run snack bar turned over a large share of its profits every year). I had heard nothing about this and I follow council proceedings relatively closely; I think this is a terrible idea on their part.

The East York Community Garden people were there as always. Another terrific community program, this garden is located on the far side of Stan Wadlow Park from our building (easily visible from our balcony) and gives local residents an opportunity to "exercise their green thumbs in good company". Many of these gardeners do not have a backyard where they can plant their own food; this is a chance for people trapped in one of the concrete monoliths of the neighbourhood to get out in the fresh air and get their hands dirty.

Another group that was represented at the event today is one I had not heard of before but I found fascinating: Not Far from the Tree. From their own website:

When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!

Sarah bought this very cool shirt from them! ---->

We also became members of the Danforth East Community Association for the next year. I let them know I would be interested in writing for their blog while Sarah has made herself available to help with future Art Fairs. These are the people who are also responsible for the annual East Lynn Farmer's Market. Great group.

And finally, on the way home we passed this gorgeous tree. The owner told me it was called a "redbud" and that it was still a couple of weeks away from full bloom. Absolutely beautiful. I plan on visiting it again to see its progress on our next sunny day!

Bonus piece of information: in the background of the above picture you can see a tall apartment building. Sarah and I live in the split-level unit that is at the top of the building, second from the left!


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    1. The Grumpy Penguin hears and understands. The Grumpy Penguin is not so named for nothing. Do not taunt the Grumpy Penguin. The Grumpy Penguin has many windmills yet to tilt at. The Grumpy Penguin now must nap.


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