Coca-Cola, ParticipACTION, Parks Canada, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds
and Toronto Community Housing partner to rejuvenate outdoor space
TORONTO, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Hundreds of volunteers and five diverse
partners united today to roll up their sleeves and build a
one-of-a-kind urban green space that marries the best elements of
Canada's national parks with interactive features that encourage active
Residents of Toronto Community Housing's Moss Park community and over
200 volunteers joined together to completely rejuvenate the outdoor
grounds of the Moss Park apartment complex. The build includes a new
soccer pitch, a large community-managed vegetable garden, natural rock
and fauna diversions, as well as more outdoor seating.
"Parks are the anchors of our communities. Today, we came together to
build a sustainable playground to provide kids with a safe, place to
have fun and be active," said Nicola Kettlitz, President of Coca-Cola
Canada Ltd. "Coca-Cola Canada and the Coca-Cola Foundation have
contributed over $125,000 to this project as part of our effort to make
positive difference in the communities where we operate."
Over the years, the grounds of the Moss Park apartment complex lost
their utility as an inviting and usable outdoor space. The philosophy
of the partners and inspiration of the rejuvenation project is the
proven influence a diverse natural playground has on increasing the
physical activity of its users. This transformation incorporates
elements inspired by Georgian Bay Islands National Park in order to
create an outdoor sanctuary in a downtown urban community. With only
seven per cent of Canada's children and youth meeting the recommended
guidelines for daily activity, communities need access to engaging
outdoor spaces that encourage movement.
"We are proud to be a part of this collaboration to build an outdoor
space where residents can be active and connect with nature," said
Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. "Research
consistently shows that children and youth who spend time outdoors are
more physically active, which leads to improved health, better mood,
increased attention, overall well-being—and fun!"
"The Moss Park Rejuvenation is providing the community with an outdoor
space that connects them to the spirit of our national parks in an
urban setting," says the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment
Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. "As part of this
collaboration, residents of Moss Park will be able to build a deeper
connection with our natural and historic heritage, especially those
families and youth who Parks Canada will host at Georgian Bay Islands
National Park of Canada this summer."
"This is an exciting partnership for Toronto Community Housing and the
residents of Moss Park apartments. Aside from hours of active fun for
children of all ages, rejuvenating the outdoor space will help build a
safe and healthy community by providing several new focal points where
residents can interact with and get to know their neighbours," said
Deborah Simon, Chief Operating Officer of Toronto Community Housing.
"We worked closely with residents to get their insight into what they
would like to see in the reclaimed outdoor space. It's great to see
them rolling up their sleeves to help make it happen."
The build was led by Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, who trained the
volunteer group on how to bring the park to life. Throughout this
project there was a collaborative effort to ensure residents were
included in the process, from the design concept to the build. "I'm
pleased to have been able to bring these partners together and create
gardens, gathering spaces and natural playgrounds with the community,"
said Adam Bienenstock, CEO of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. "These
spaces will serve the community well and will connect children to
nature in downtown Toronto."
The Moss Park rejuvenation project exemplifies true collaborative
spirit, where multiple partners with different objectives work together
to achieve one common goal. The partners hope this initiative will
serve as an example for other organizations to see the positive
outcomes that can be created with these types of partnerships.
Image with caption: ""Time to take back the park! Thanks to Coca-Cola Canada Ltd. and ParticipACTION volunteers, local kids can NOW play ball in downtown Toronto's Moss Park!" Left to right. Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. Nicola Kettlitz, President of Coca-Cola Canada Ltd. (CNW Group/Coca-Cola)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120615_C9186_PHOTO_EN_15182.jpg
For further information:
Erick Bauer/Robyn Breslow
APEX Public Relations
(416) 924-4442 ext. 246/256
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