New turfgrass will revive green space damaged by Occupy Toronto protest
TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - After five weeks playing host to Occupy
Toronto protesters, the lawn at Toronto's St. James Park suffered
severe damage, with the lawn trampled to death.
But local residents concerned about the condition of their communal
gathering space can be assured it will be brought back to life. Landscape Ontario is partnering with the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario, Project EverGreen and the community to restore some greenery in St. James Park with a new
lawn. Turfgrass is an enormous environmental benefit that is so often
underestimated with its incredible ability to keep Toronto clean, green
"There is a huge volunteer effort that will be happening here," says
Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. "There will
be more than 10,000 rolls of sod and at least 23 dump trucks of soil
and an incredible number of people being very charitable."
Volunteers from member Landscape Ontario and Nursery Sod-Growers
Association firms will be on site Wednesday to begin preparation work,
but the noticeable difference will happen Thursday as an army of
volunteers lays the new sod to replace that which was damaged during
the Occupy Toronto protest.
Restoring the lawn at St. James Park is an effort on par with planting a
forest of trees when it comes to cleaning our air and creating the best
situation for a healthy environment.
"A green and healthy lawn is just as important as a tree," says Kyle
Tobin, owner of LawnSavers Plant Health Care and a manager of the St. James Park project. "We have a unique
opportunity right now before winter to restore the lawn and take
advantage of ideal conditions. We will get in there and it will go from
brown to green immediately and flourish next spring."
A lush, green lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye. Did you know:
That 220 square feet of turfgrass produces enough oxygen for a family of
four; that means restoring the turfgrass in St. James Park will produce
enough clean air for 545 families;
North American Lawns store billions of tonnes of carbon, making
turfgrass a leading contributor to offset carbon and reduce global
The average front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.5 tonnes of air
conditioning; Lawns will be 18°C (30°F) cooler than asphalt and 7°C
(14°F) cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer.
Turf improves water quality by storing and filtering the water that
would otherwise go into catch-basins and into the lake.
A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain six grass plants per square inch,
850 plants per square foot and 8.5 million plants total. Think of your
lawn as a forest of grass plants.
Community members interested helping out with the transformation of St.
James are invited to come to the park on Thursday to support the
massive volunteer effort.
"When you consider the immense environmental benefits of turf, we are
going to make a huge impact with the revitalization of St. James Park,"
says Alan White, owner of Turf Systems Inc. and a manager of the St. James Park project. "A new lawn in the park
will have the equivalent impact of producing enough clean air for 2,180
people each day. It will help maintain a healthy temperature in our
environment and work to keep our air and water clean."
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, one of the most vibrant associations of its kind, is comprised of more
than 2,000 members, 10 sector groups and nine local chapters. Its trade
mission is to promote the horticulture industry in Ontario, and its
public mission, Green for Life, promotes the joys and benefits of
plants and green spaces. Visit http://www.landscapeontario.com for more information.
Formed in 1960, the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario (N.S.G.A.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of
the turfgrass sod industry. The main objectives of the association are
to develop and maintain high standards of turfgrass sod quality, to
stimulate consumer knowledge of quality turfgrass sod, to work in close
co-operation with allied professions to the benefit of consumer and
trade alike, and to gather, analyze and disseminate information of
general interest to the public, governmental agencies and other
Project EverGreen is committed to informing the Canadian public about the positive
effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and
landscapes, sports turf, golf courses and parks. We want to inspire you
to get involved and get passionate about green spaces! www.projectevergreen.ca