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Celebrating Nature in The City with Community Programming

The Bentway’s Fall 2019 Season, themed around “Second Nature”, examines how city living impacts our relationship to natural cycles and environments.

Helping us to explore this theme are 5 exciting community-led projects selected as part of The Bentway’s annual Community Incubation Program, which offers funds, expertise, and space to support vital community ideas & initiatives.

One such initiative is Blue Guerrilla, a series of workshops and hands-on training led by grassroots environmental charity, Toronto Green Community (TGC) that aims to understand, reclaim, and celebrate nature in our city by educating urban residents about their connection to water.

Jose Torcal of RAINscapeTO, an eco-landscaping social enterprise affiliated with TGC, hopes the workshops will help Torontonians contextualize the role humans play in the water cycle; how our actions—from pollution to poor design—can disrupt this life-giving natural process.

Located along the original shoreline of Lake Ontario and at the foot of the now-buried Garrison Creek, Jose sees The Bentway as the perfect location to illustrate how human intervention has effected the water cycle. One of the Blue Guerrilla events, Lost Rivers and Found Stories on October 3, is a walking tour that explores these historical waterways that once flowed through The Bentway’s local neighbourhoods, highlighting our altered urban landscape.

Other workshops in the series, including Building Earth-Friendly Landscapes and Building Medicine Gardens, explore ways we can support the local ecosystem, and how they in-turn can support us. For the nearly 80,000 local residents, most of which live in high rise condos, TGC’s Blue Guerrilla workshops will help re-acquaint our neighbours with nature through hands-on learning opportunities.

It is this—getting our hands dirty and getting closer to the land—that Toronto Green Community hopes will help grow the local community; both their plants and perspectives.