The Go Green Cricket & Sports Field features a butterfly meadow, bioswale and wetland.
Our bioswale is a vegetated open channel designed to collect, convey and filter underground stormwater runoff. Stormwater is collected in perforated plastic pipes underneath the cricket field and discharged (released) at the bioswale. The rest of the bioswale also collects excess surface stormwater that runs off west of our centre pitch. The bioswale has a sloped base, allowing stormwater to flow down to the infiltration trench.
We embed our environmental education programs into our summer camp and spring weekend programs.
People have often wondered about the connection between "Go Green", "Youth Centre", and "Cricket & Sports Field". You may ask, what do they all have in common? The ultimate purpose of our youth centre is to foster social inclusion which boosts the mental health and well-being of underserved youth. One of the main ways we do this is through organized sports programs on our cricket and sports field. Another way we aim to do this is by teaching our participants to develop a meaningful connection and respect for their natural environment (“Go Green”). Sport is deeply dependent and connected to nature. Without a healthy planet, there is no playing field (“cricket & sports field”). Nature is important for our collective health, happiness and prosperity.
Our project initially started off as an environmental project to bring the beauty of the Don Valley up to the schoolyard of Valley Park Middle School. This was inspired by conversations with the late Michael Hough, the founder of landscape architecture at the University of Toronto, and an early advisor to our project.
The environment is a magical place. Anyone who has been on our site for an early cricket match or nature walk can attest to that fact. If you have not, we strongly encourage you to visit our site on an early spring or summer morning (or see the video below). People have spotted whited-tailed deers, foxes, coyotes, squirrels, geese, toads, rabbits, butterflies, red-winged blackbirds, blue jays, muskrats and groundhogs. Our connection to the Don Valley along with our wetland and bioswale makes us an attractive spot for these creatures.
In recent years, past activities we have done for environmental education include:
EcoArts (ecology and art) program
Summer Camp Bondar Challenge (Roberta Bondar Foundation)