Society for
Organic Urban
Land Care

Recognizing Ecological Land Care of Urban Greenspaces

THE 2022 PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED FOR NOMINATIONS

THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO SUBMITTED A NOMINATION

Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.

To be recognized as a Greener Greenspace, the site must be cared for using land care practices that:

  • increase biodiversity and support plant health
  • improve soil health and protect air and water quality
  • take steps to minimize waste and energy consumption
  • actively avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers

SOUL WILL ANNOUNCE THE 2022 RECOGNITION RECIPIENTS IN EARLY 2023. 





2021 Recognition Recipients


Pollinator and Habitat Gardens

Click on a Greenspace on the map or scroll down to find a short profile of each of these greenspaces.

We will be sharing a complete profile of a greenspace every two weeks over the course of 2022 and will also be featuring Greener Greenspaces in the February, July and August sessions of the SOUL 2022 Year of the Ecological Garden series. 

Is there a greenspace in your community that you feel belongs on this map?

We’ll begin accepting submissions for the 2022 program starting in the summer and would love for the map to grow to include spaces in communities in every province and territory. If you’d like a reminder email when the 2022 program opens for submissions, please send us a note and we’ll add you to the mailing list.

Pollinator and Habitat Gardens

Gosling Pollinator Gardens

Guelph, ON


Designed by Pollination Guelph, this multi-year project has created almost 9,000 sq. ft. of pollinator habitat on the grounds of Hospice Wellington. 

All work done on the garden is performed by volunteers from Pollination Guelph and/or Hospice Wellington.

While some introduced species have been included for additional colour, the vast majority of plants on-site are native to Ontario. Efforts are made to include a wide variety of native plant species to support a diverse, vibrant community of pollinators (native bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, some flies and hummingbirds) and other taxa. Plant species are chosen to ensure there is continual blooming throughout the spring, summer and fall. 


Read the full profile of these gardens here 


Website

LEAF Demonstration Gardens 

Toronto, ON 


The LEAF demonstration and learning gardens are located outside Toronto subway stations in neighbourhoods across the city. The gardens are designed to enhance the urban forest and be sites for the public to learn about native plants and trees. Suitable native species are selected and planted in these gardens to provide sources of food and habitat for birds, butterflies and other pollinator species. Practices used to care for these gardens include mulching, feeding the soil with compost, reusing materials to minimize waste and utilizing the native plants in the garden as seed sources for propagation. In addition to LEAF staff, a group of 50 dedicated volunteer garden stewards care and maintain the demonstration and learning gardens. 

Read the Full Profile here. 

Website

Nature Regina's Native Plant Demonstration Garden - Regina

Regina, SK


Nature Regina's pollinator garden in Regina has over 100 species of plants native to southern Saskatchewan. The species were selected to support insects, birds and other small mammals. Those involved in designing the garden are constantly searching for native Saskatchewan plants from the area to extend bloom times. The garden is in its third year of a five-year rejuvenation plan. The garden is supported by numerous volunteers and monitored by a team of biologists and landscapers dedicated to organic land care practices. Public engagement activities include webinars and publicly accessible site visits to learn about native plants in the ecoregion. The garden is a designated Monarch Way Station on the David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway and is a research site for the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and community space programmed by Nature Regina. 

Read the full profile of the garden here. 

Facebook Page

Peace Garden

Regina, SK


Peace Garden is in a very public location downtown Regina. The older section of the garden is twenty years old and was badly in need of rejuvenation. The success of that restoration in recent years inspired the volunteers and Church to triple the garden area available. Plants selected for the garden expansion were primarily native plants, including groundcovers, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Plants are selected so that flowering occurs throughout the season. Members of the public routinely stop and speak with volunteers about the garden and our methods. Homelessness is an issue in downtown Regina, and several people sleep in the garden and church entrance. One homeless person regularly assisted with watering the new plantings during last summer’s hot, dry summer. 

Read the full profile of the garden here. 

Video about the gardens

Pipeline Trail Pollinator Paradise

Hamilton, ON


The Pipeline Trail Pollinator Paradise in Hamilton is a small urban garden filled with mostly native plants, chosen for diversity in bloom time, colour and flower shape to maximize support for native insects. There are approximately 40 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials and grasses in approximately 700 sq. feet.  As the name suggests, the garden is along a trail and it was a central feature in a recent community engagement event that advocated for trail improvements to improve accessibility and wayfinding, as well as projects involving public art and additional gardens. As described by one of the lead gardeners, the Pipeline Pollinator Paradise garden supports garden activism.  

Website 

Read the full profile of the garden here. 

Windermere United Church

Toronto, ON


Started with the help of a PollinateTO grant, this greenspace was planted in the spring of 2021 with a variety of native plant and tree species selected for blooming from spring to late fall.  Water features were included in the garden for birds and insects as have old logs and woodpiles.

Through signage from Project Swallowtail, the David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway Project and PollinateTO, the gardens have made more people aware of the beauty of native plants and the importance of pollinator gardens. The gardens are used in new ways by children and adults alike and neighbours on the street are now planting more native plants in their gardens to help create a pollinator pathway.


Read the full profile of the garden here. 

Municipal and Ecological Projects


Brandon Riverbank Inc. is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the long-term development of the Assiniboine River corridor to be a gathering place connecting people with nature. The Riverbank has become Brandon’s “Central Park” providing a serene and beautiful place for people to appreciate nature and learn about the local ecosystem. The site has extensive tall grass native prairie, which supports biological diversity. The non-profit recently partnered with Bee City Brandon to install a pollinator garden and has an ongoing partnership with Ducks Unlimited to monitor and maintain the wetlands and advise on controlled burns.

Website

Champlain Park

Ottawa, ON


This new greenspace is an extension of a city park onto a former street and parking area in Ottawa.  Created by the community group Champlain Oaks, volunteers replaced pavement and invasive species with native species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. More than 50 native species of plants were introduced, providing a local seed source for neighbouring areas. The regenerated greenspace has four distinct features: a Miyawaki or Tiny Forest, a native pollinator garden, a Carolinian forest with species normally found further south, and a food forest with a mix of fruit and nut-bearing plants for animals and humans. The neighbouring volunteers care for this space and host activities for learning and connecting. 

Read the full profile here. 

Website


Created by the landscape and ecological restoration company, Helping Nature Heal Inc., Cocagne Community Park in Cocagne, NB, features a variety of native and heritage species.  Funded by the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, the project was a collaboration between environmental and nature groups including Group de development durable du Pays de Cocagne, Shediac Watershed Association, CSR Peninsule acadienne, Vision H20 and Nature NB.   The public was invited to participate in the construction and to learn methods of nature-based shoreline erosion mitigation as well as principles of ecological restoration such as soil-building and habitat creation. The park was designed to absorb water and provide habitat and includes features such as berms and a rain garden to reduce overland flow. Native trees were included to improve air quality and provide shade. The project has been designed to be self-sustainable by providing plenty of material to break down and provide nutrients to the system. 

Read the full profile of this project here

Edgewood Park Pollinator Meadow

Surrey BC


The pollinator meadow at Edgewood Park enhances the structural diversity and connectivity between a future community garden and the newly created wildlife corridors along the edge of the park. Given the full-sun aspect of the site, the meadow and wildlife corridors were designed to mimic drought tolerant ecological communities found within the region (e.g., coastal sand/grassland communities, Coastal Douglas-fir) using endemic forbs and grasses, shrubs and trees. Species selected for the meadow focused on those known to be used by native pollinators (invertebrates and songbirds) throughout their life stages. The meadow also provides structural diversity and variety, forage and refuge for ground nesting birds and small mammals moving along the adjoining wildlife corridor.

Read the full profile of the project here

Website

Green Ventures Eco House

Hamilton, ON 


Green Venture is an environmental education organization in Hamilton and the grounds surrounding its EcoHouse demonstrate ecological approaches to urban land care. In this greenspace, there are several naturalized garden areas and diverse habitats, including a xeriscape garden, rain gardens, pollinator plantings and mason bee houses, bat boxes, a Miyawaki forest pilot plot, several large native trees, including historic black walnut, unique plant species such as bladdernut, pawpaws, new jersey tea, and spring ephemerals. Volunteers are actively involved in weekly garden maintenance and seasonal work bees. Green Venture's Eco House runs community and school programs on sustainability and demonstrates how residents can reduce their environmental footprint. Environmental education programs take place all year long and engage over 8,000 residents a year. 

Website 

Little Forest Wolfe Island/Kawehnóhkwes tsi kawè:note

Wolfe Isalnd/Kawahnóhkwes tsi kawè:note, ON


This Little Forest is located outside a community centre on Wolfe Island/Kawehnóhkwes tsi kawè:note, ON, in an area that has been mowed turf for many years. In preparation for the tree planting, volunteers prepped the soil in the spring of 2021 with old hay, composted manure and chipped wood. The Little Forest consists of 300 saplings of forty native tree and shrub species representative of the temperate hardwood forest of the Upper St. Lawrence and a few Carolinian species to support tree migration due to climate change. The planting followed the methodology of Miyawki Tiny Forests with the premise that through natural cooperation, the trees will grow much faster than a normal forest. A key aspect of the project is that the site will be a learning and research site for decades to come. 

Read the full profile of this project here. 

Website

Okotoks Operational Centre

Okotoks, AB


The greenspace around the Okotoks Operational Centre was designed to emulate the natural habitats of the foothills region of Alberta. By incorporating a variety of native plants, the grounds support several native pollinators and other species. To conserve water, the plants are drought tolerant and do not need irrigation. There’s an environmental education centre next to the garden where residents learn about the alternative ground cover used on site, and about soil care and water infiltration. The educational garden space and signage is to inspire Okotoks residents to design gardens that increase biodiversity and permeability, while also decreasing the use of greenhouse gas emitting garden tools. 


Petite Riviere Community Park

Petite Riviere, NS


Created by Helping Nature Heal Inc., a landscape and ecological restoration company, Petite Riviere Community Park in the Lunenburg area in Nova Scotia is a park that blends into its surrounding, yet adds culturally significant aspects such as Black Ash trees that are rare but important to Mi’kmaq. The park is designed to continue to build the mycelium in the soil food web with the use of woody debris. Native trees were introduced to improve air quality, provide shade and absorb water. A living shoreline was installed along the river bank to slow overland flow and protect the waters from pollution from runoff.  The creation of the park was a true community project. The founding partners were Helping Nature Heal Inc, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Covey Island Boatworks, and the Petite Riviere Park Association along with the Petite Riviere Winery. Many local industry partners and contractors donated or discounted materials and labour, and with many community volunteers and NSCC students donating labour and time! After being trained in ecological land care practices, the Park Association maintains the park, and hosts many events each year.

Facebook Group


Urban Seine River Greenway

Winnipeg, MB


The Urban Seine River Greenway constitutes a mixture of naturalized open public space, parks and historical sites. For over 30 years, Save Our Seine (SOS) has been the leading organization in Winnipeg caring for the Seine River and surrounding greenspace. Each year, SOS invests in tree planting initiatives and hires a team of river keepers to work with volunteers to remove garbage and invasive species. SOS also serves as the "eyes on the river" transmitting information on issues arising along the river so that the City of Winnipeg can respond. 

Website

Community Gardens and Food Forests

Eglinton Community Garden and Medicine Wheel Garden

Toronto, ON


Designed by the landscape firm and social enterprise RAINscapeTO, the Eglinton Community Garden is a publicly accessible garden in Eglington Park in Toronto that features a community garden, food forest and a Medicine Wheel Garden. Plants grown in the gardens are native, pollinator-friendly and selected according to soil, light and water conditions. The gardens contribute to year-round ecosystem services and wildlife habitat. Neighbouring community members are invited to join work bee sessions in the gardens as well as to workshops and social events. A PollinateTO grant supported specific pollinator plantings in a red canoe to symbolize a creek that previously flowed through the park and the Wendat settlement. 

Read the full profile here. 

Facebook page 

Food from Home = Food for Home

Guelph, ON


Food from Home = Food for Home is a community garden in Guelph with approximately 60 raised garden/farm beds in an open park area nestled between a high school. The garden responds to two interconnected issues: food insecurity and the accessibility of culturally appropriate food that is affordable and culturally desired.  The garden is a model of ecological justice. There are approximately 25 community members a growing season, many of whom are newcomers to Canada. The garden brings the community together to participate in a range of activities such as growing food, composting and sharing ideas on how to live in harmony with natural systems and within a smaller ecological footprint. Support is provided by Compost Queens of the Royal City. 

Forêt Capitale Forest

Ottawa, ON


Forêt Capitale Forest is an Ottawa organization dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change by facilitating the planting of forests and raising awareness of the importance of trees and biodiversity. In addition to planting trees and managing lands, the organization operates a model demonstration food forest at the Just Food Farm in Ottawa where they grow several species of trees and use techniques such as the hugelkultur method to ensure the soil is constantly improving. The organization aspires to plant 1,000 hectares with approximately one million trees. Dedicated volunteers and board members support site maintenance, watering and acorn collection. 

Read the full profile here

Website


Kenhtè:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON


Kenhtè:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre (KSSLC) in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON, features a community seed sanctuary, seed garden and native meadows. KSSLC’s mission is to steward the seeds of their ancestors and in doing so, to take action to steward the land in a healthy and respectful way. A no-till method of growing the Indigenous seed collection is used to build healthy soil over time and promote habitat for good bacteria and fungus. The native meadow and prairie grasses provide habitat for many native insects and animals. Future plans include p̱lanting native trees and fruit trees, which will further contribute to habitat growth and soil fertility. 

One of KSSLC’s primary purposes is to educate and promote seed saving among the youth of Tyendinaga through hands-on educational workshops and teach-ins at community schools. Public education events that welcome community members and local people to participate are both educational and social to build community. 

Read the full profile here

Facebook Page

Lakeside Garden 

Kingston, ON


Lakeside Garden in Kingston is an urban greenspace on federal land that is managed by the city and garden members. The garden supports locally grown produce - with 100 plots, school gardens, a large donation garden and seed-saving plots. The previously commercially farmed space has been remediated by the soil building efforts used in the gardens and additional greenspace areas have been naturalized for native species/wildlife. The public is welcome on-site and to join in educational activities. Members are required to care for their own plot(s) and volunteer during the growing season. There are multiple partner agencies with projects on site that also help care for the space.

Website

Legacy Garden

Charlottetown, PEI


Started in 2014, the Legacy Garden In Charlottetown has expanded to become one of the largest urban farms in Canada. The 8.5 acre garden has keyline hedgerows with native plants to attract beneficial insects and wildlife. In addition to 200 community garden plots, there are hummingbird and butterfly gardens and native nut trees for windbreaks and a "food forest" with a diversity of fruits trees, berries, herbs. The property is managed using organic techniques and cover crops. The food produced in their community garden and the food forest is donated to local charities providing thousands of pounds of produce locally. The Legacy Garden also operates a Therapeutic Horticulture program that offers support and guidance to people living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The farm hosts numerous volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, many of whom are newcomers to Canada. In 2020/21, the farm received support to run a project with twenty "youth-at-risk" that focused on food production and land care in the age of climate change. 

Read the full profile here. 

Website

Mill Courtland Community Centre

Kitchener, ON


The greenspace at Mill Courtland Community Centre in Kitchener, ON, was created using the Lasagna/No-Till gardening technique to protect the soil structure and biota, and provide habitat for beneficial insects. The site is used for placemaking and environmental education, and to grow and provide free nutritious food and medicinal herbs for the public. Staff and volunteers have created more than 30 food/forest/fedge and pollinator garden sites and each is stewarded by the community volunteers who live within walking distance from the centre. As an active and well-used greenspace, it’s possible to walk by at any time of the day and see people or wildlife.

Read the full profile here. 

Grand River Food Forestry website. 

Naramata Permaculture Farm Garden 

Naramata, BC


Naramata Permaculture Farm Garden in Naramata, BC, is a public space and community garden focused on observing and learning from nature while growing healthy food.  Approximately twenty core volunteers actively collaborate and co-create the garden. Different events during the year such as art exhibits, community harvests, guided tours, etc. animate the greenspace and create social connections in the community. The garden is a David Suzuki Butterflyway site, which recognizes and supports the garden’s efforts to provide habitat and food for pollinators and other species.

Read the full profile here.

Facebook Page

Two Rivers Huron Street Community Garden

Guelph, ON


The Two Rivers Huron Street Community Garden in Guelph, ON, is a community garden with eighteen garden plots. The garden includes the “Cadillac” of community composting systems created by the ‘Compost Queens of the Royal City’, Guelph-based soil facilitators and educators who are inspiring a local community compost movement and mindset. The eleven-foot tall wooden compost system in the community garden is available for neighbourhood use to divert organic waste and produce rich soil. The community garden hosts workshops and other community events to share knowledge, food and to build community. 

Website

Urban Harvest Circle Community Garden 

Guelph, ON


Urban Harvest Circle Community Garden is a community garden in Guelph, ON, located in the midst of a dense residential neighbourhood. The garden is volunteer-led and follows community garden guidelines to use organic practices, compost on-site and support pollinators. Guelph is a Bee City and there is a large community garden network that meets in person and online to share organic growing practices and methods.


Village Community Garden 

Guelph, ON


Village Community Garden is a new community garden in a food insecure area in the City of Guelph. The garden was established by volunteers with the goal of operating the garden as a co-operative run by members. The idea is that co-op members would gain gardening and food literacy skills, an understanding of the food forest, as well as community leadership experience. Since the garden began in spring 2021, the focus has been on connecting with local families and exploring forest foods such as puffballs and wild grapes. 

Facebook Page


Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care 263 Deschamps Ave. Ottawa, ON K1L 5Y7
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software