Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Photo Shoot Out: Gardens

I've accepted a challenge from Patty and Reggie Girl to post photos of our local community every Friday. This week's theme challenge is to post photos of local Gardens in my town.

There are links to all the Friday Shoot Out participants from around the world at the bottom of my left panel. Maybe you'd like to join us as well and post photos of your community? If you do, let me know so I can add your names to the list.

I live in Toronto, in the Scarborough area of Toronto, in the West Hill area of Scarborough. So West Hill will be the focus of my photos.

Until recently I was the President of our local Community Association. As a group we did what we could to promote West Hill and to encourage residents to get out more and use their local public parks and gardens. In 2006 the Toronto Parks Trees and Recreation Foundation donated thousands of daffodil bulbs to local groups for use in public places.

On the day of the planting the forecast was for rain and cold temperatures with wind gusts up to 90 km per hour, but the weather turned out to be very pleasant with blue skies and moderate temperatures attracting hundreds of local residents. The planting at Eastview Park was done by dozens of volunteers from organizations like our own and the Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, East Scarborough Storefront and, because it was an election year, a smattering of politicians who wanted to be seen getting their hands dirty in a good cause.

And the next year Parks throughout West Hill were alive with daffodils. To celebrate we hosted a community picnic.

The booths on display allowed children to get balloons, have their faces painted, get their hands hennaed, learn about the environment, dance and even get their hair styled. Adults could visit the CCA, Residents Rising and the Ecology booths.

Mayoralty candidate Jane Pitfield also came out to enjoy the day and to talk about the Community with CCA President, myself, looking frighteningly like a demented stalker in my white hat, white coat and the white gloves I wore to cook hot dogs. Having been photographed with me, it was no wonder she lost the election. Other politicians and candidates for the next election who attended included David Soknacki, Paul Ainslie (who was out at 9:30 am with his son to help plant bulbs), Ron Moeser and Abdul Patel.

Members of the Police and Fire Departments also came out to help the community celebrate. Although they don't look like their having fun, these guys are actually having a ball on the inside.

It was hard to know whether the children enjoyed the hot dogs or the tug of war the most. But one thing is certain the daffodil bulbs provided by Toronto Parks and Trees will add beauty to Eastview Park for years to come.

Special guests at the event were gardening expert Mark Cullen and Deputy Mayor Joe Panalone. Mark broadcast his radio show live from the event.