A cornerstone of the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation is its commitment to helping community groups plan and implement fundraising campaigns in support of local park and tree projects all across Toronto. The Foundation supports community led improvement projects in Toronto’s parks and green spaces by providing a platform for fundraising and supporting community efforts.
The Friends of Rosethorn Park is partnering with Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation to revitalize their neighbourhood local park and playground: Rosethorn Park in the Islington Heights community. We spoke recently with Nesrine Rajji and Joy Robson from the Friends to share their story:
One day, neighbourhood families got together to chat on the street and a conversation sparked up regarding the Rosethorn Park and playground. One of the mothers remarked how she had played on that same playground structure as a child 30 years earlier. They all felt it would be great to have their children playing on a revitalized playground and to get out and find the right people to help make that happen. Together, like-minded community members organized a group, the ‘Friends of Rosethorn Park’, to push for a full-scale revitalization of the park.
Their project idea, backed by Councillor John Campbell, involves retrofitting the Rosethorn Park playground with a new slide and swing set, and other updates depending on the amount the funds they can raise. The City of Toronto has already committed $150,000 toward the project. For the remainder, the community group has partnered with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation which will enable them to leverage support from the community itself, and from surrounding local businesses, to make the project a reality.
Together with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, the Friends are aiming to raise an additional $100,000 by August of 2017, to match the funds that the City has already committed to the project. The Friends have plans to host silent auctions, go door knocking and partner with the local school and business community.
So far, the project has seen overwhelming support from the community, and garnered the enthusiasm of the City. While the playground remains outdated, the park is used frequently and is very well-loved. Local soccer and baseball teams have become involved in the project, and the process has helped to build connections within the community by bringing people together who might have otherwise remained strangers.
If the project’s fundraising goal is met, a public consultation will be hosted in September to gather input on what changes the neighbourhood would like to see. If successful, the group would like to see the project completed by June 2018. The group is working on a plan to recognize large donations to the project through plaques within the park design.
All donations to the park project can be made through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation website. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for any donation above $10. To donate, please visit: