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posted December 10, 2006

Park Staff Want To "Take The Show On The Road"

The park staff at Dufferin Grove are often asked by people from other parts of town, how some of the nice things about this park could be put into other parks as well. That makes sense – Dufferin Grove is a neighbourhood park, that’s its strength, and if it inspires people to enliven their own neighbourhood parks – good! In November, the little research group that started through the park (The CEntre for LOcal research into public Space, CELOS) made an application to the Ontario Trillium Foundation to “take the show on the road.” That means, when the part-time staff are not working at this park, if another park has friends who want help getting started, the help is available. Trillium won’t make their decisions until March, and 3 out of every 4 applications are turned down, but we might as well try!

In the meantime, park staff have been practicing. One of their specialties is campfires. Near the end of October, five staff volunteered to make a campfire at a Trinity Bellwoods park planting day organized by the friends’ group there. Anna Hill, head of their Green Space Committee, got the permit lined up with help from the Councillor’s office, and the Dufferin Staff came with fire stands, buckets, shovels, firewood, and cooking utensils. One of the objectives of the planting day was digging up the burdock roots that crowd out the other plants. Burdock root is a delicious root vegetable common in Japan, so the Dufferin Grove park staff helped to dig the burdock. They cleaned it and cooked it into a stir-fry and served it to the numerous Trinity-Bellwoods park friends who were digging and planting and talking to one another. That was a very enjoyable adventure. Hopefully, if the grant application is approved, there will be many more.

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