Park People and Our New Website!

Drum rolll…….we have a beautiful, wonderful, practical, user-friendly, fabulous new website!  Hooray!  You can see it in all it’s glory here at www.danfortheast.ca.  Thank you very very much to Jay Lilley and Angela Matich for all of their hard work.  At the new and improved website you can access this blog, become a DECA member (yes – you get all this community spirit, information and volunteer labour for a mere $10/year), read our charter, by-laws and executive terms of reference, read meeting minutes and find information about everything that we do and how you might want to get involved.

DECA’s Parks Team

As you may remember, DECA has formed a new sub committee – the Parks group.  Its first task has been to do an inventory of the recreation facilities in our community.  We hope this will be useful for two reasons: first as a resource to our members and second to determine what facilities we have, what shape they’re in and if we should be doing something to improve them.  The Parks team is in the midst of this inventory and we’ll let you know when it’s available to take a look on our website.

Park People

Speaking of parks, DECA exec member, Catherine Porter went to a city-wide meeting of a new group called Park People: Toronto Alliance For Better Parks the other week and she sent along the dispatch below.  We are linking with the Park People because let’s face it -we’re Park People too.  While there she met Helen.  Helen lives in our neighbourhood and, with her sister, writes a gardening blog called Toronto Gardens.  Currently they have a post about the closing of Reeves Nursery on the Danforth, boo.

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Park People is a new lobby group for parks in the city, run by Dave Harvey, a former advisor on the environment to Premier Dalton McGuinty.

The group is meant to both lobby for parks and act as a resource to individual community park groups.  They want to help connect, inspire and navigate the bureaucracy – both inside the city government and out. Harvey is big on public-private partnerships, following the model of Tupper Thomas, a bigwig from Brooklyn who masterminded the turn around of a big park there called Prospect Point.

Prospect Point is the size of High Park, with a forest and man-made lake, carousel and sports fields. She secured funding from the private sector to redevelop parts of the park and pay for operating costs; and she oversees 6,000 volunteers who help do everything from tree maintenance to children’s education.

The basic plan for Park People, at least for now is:

* Provide a central resource for parks groups. Compile a master list of “Friends of” groups, and things they are doing, their expertise.

* Advertise park events through a Facebook page

* Host park talks, starting early this June, that tour different parks in the city and bring local expertise there to talk about how they achieved their goals. (ie. Jutta Mason can tell groups how to get a bake oven up and running; Greenwood Park can talk about community camp fires, etc.) The local group hosts the event and showcases its park to other groups who come to hear the speaker.