Toronto is one step closer to realizing a new community cricket pitch

TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - On January 8th, the Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project formally signed its land license with Infrastructure Ontario enabling the project to start construction this April 2013.

"We're grateful to get this license signed and for the City of Toronto's, IO's and Hydro One's support throughout this process," said Nick Stefanoff, project co-chair and Principal of Valley Park Middle School.

The $1.1 million Phase One of Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project will transform an underutilized schoolyard at Valley Park Middle School into an irrigated multi-sport cricket field surrounded by a red clay running track, amphitheatre and community-planted demonstration bioswale, wetland, urban forest and butterfly meadow. The wetland will become an oasis attracting wildlife and has a wooden look-out that overlooks the East Don River ravines to the north and west. The Valley Park Middle School's health and science curriculum and its Ecoschools program will be tied to the wetland and the watershed.

"Two heroes are Ward 26 Don Valley West City Councillor John Parker and Hydro One Senior Real Estate Coordinator Paul Dockrill who together at various points helped stick handle us through reviews either at IO or with City staff. Their cooperation is exemplary."

"John and Paul are among a band of brothers and sisters at various institutions and organizations who have gathered around to help our cause."

With the land license now official, the project can get funds flowing from some of the largest committed donors. These include Ontario Trillium Foundation, Live Green Toronto a program of the City of Toronto, RBC Foundation and International Development & Relief Foundation, among others.

The first installment of the $225000.00 Capital Grant from Live Green Toronto will be released by the end of the month. The Live Green Toronto grant will help offset a portion of the costs for treatment of stormwater on the site and the other environmental components. "The Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field is not only helping the City meet its environmental goals but will provide great benefits to the surrounding community", states Lawson Oates, Director of the City of Toronto's Toronto Environment Office.

The Toronto District School Board has sub-licensed the Hydro property and the VPMS back yard during non-school hours to the project for its exclusive year-round use for sports, environmental and recreational programming for at-risk youth. The project is a partnership made up of community activists, students, staff and parents emanating from VPMS, and the two neighbourhood settlement services agencies: Flemingdon Neighbourhood Services and Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. Toronto & Region Conservation Authority is also a design partner because it supports the project's mission of linking the site to the adjacent Don River Watershed.

The TDSB Board of Trustees approved the construction contract award at its meeting on November 21, 2012. The Project Manager Jeremy Craig of the landscape architectural firm Victor Ford & Associates is now putting the finishing touches on the project work plan, which breaks ground after the first spring thaw and sees the multi-sport field completed by the summer 2013. Indoor youth programming will begin this spring and summer at VPMS, and move outdoors this fall, allowing the natural turf to grow in through the summer.

The Live Green Toronto funding program provide resources in support of community inspired, on-the-ground, physical projects that will reduce greenhouse gas and smog causing emissions.  The goal is to help communities implement climate change and clean air solutions, take collective action and empower them with the ability to take action.


SOURCE: Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Committee

For further information:

Contacts:

Lisa Grogan-Green, Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project co-chair, 647-388-3200

Nickolas Stefanoff, Co-chair and VPMS Principal, 416-949-4130

Jeff Mcormick, Senior Environmental Planner, Toronto Environment Office, (416) 392-1135