Starting in January 2012, ERA and partners ArchiTEXT and Sustainable.TO have been leading the 5th semester of the Storefront’s Community.Design.Initiative (CDI), a weekly mentorship program for youth in the Kingston – Galloway – Orton Park (KGO) neighbourhood of East Scarborough.
This semester the team is working with the youth to design a shade and naturalization strategy for the Storefront landscape, to be constructed during summer and fall 2012. Funded through a Live Green Toronto grant, the project will feature two shade structures, a demonstration kitchen garden and patio outside of the Storefront’s soon to be completed Eco Food Hub, new tree plantings, a bee and butterfly pollination garden, and water harvesting for irrigating the existing community garden.
In the spirit of demonstrating the potential of designing with salvaged and recycled construction materials, the team made arrangements with Migrating Landscapes to deliver a whole bunch of wood to the site when their exhibit closed at Brookfield Place in early March. Thanks to Migrating Landscapes for their very generous donation. The spirit of their exhibit will live on in East Scarborough for many years to come.
On March 17th, a foggy and cold Saturday morning, the team organized a wood inventory day at the site. Eighteen and a half* of us in all, including CDI youth volunteers and mentors, and volunteers from ERA, Architext and Sustainable.TO, spent the morning and early afternoon at the site sorting, counting, stacking and tarping the wood for use later in the year.
Despite the cold, spirits were high, and we got through about half of the wood (and a number of pizza’s). We will be planning a second wood inventory day on an upcoming Saturday in April to finish the job.
*by all accounts two and a half year old Junior ERA team member Quinn exceeded all expectations with her might, determination and endurance!