Wednesday, December 14, 2016

More Green Space in Chicago!

Photo by Justin Breen The Field Museum

Chicago continues to inspire!!

First I found out about their bird friendly skyscraper design and then next it was Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor.  After that I read about all these other green nature initiatives that had been happening:

 - City Hall's Rooftop Garden
- the Green Roof Grant Program
- Nature and Wildlife Plan
- Green Alley Program
- Urban Forest Agenda
- 606 (green line)
- Chicago Botanical Garden's "Horticultural Therapy Program"
Burnham Wildlife Corridor

and now it's Northerly Island!

They are rejuvenating the island with 400 trees and 12000 shrubs by 2017, which will add a more diverse habitat and resting spot for birds.

From DNA info "Northerly Island Is Now A Bird Paradise With 250 Species And Counting" by Justin Breen:
Stotz said that Northerly Island's new look has saved the lives of countless birds. The island used to feature only dry grassland, which kept birds from landing there. Instead, they would fly from Lake Michigan into the city and often crash into McCormick Place. 
"Northerly Island has become an important habitat for preventing birds from hitting McCormick Place," he said. "There used to be no place to stop, and now there is."

Read more about it at DNA Info article and "Northerly Island Reopens" by The Field Museum, Joshua Engel.

Another great organization in Chicago is Open Lands which "has helped protect more than 55,000 acres of land for public parks and forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, urban farms, and community gardens."  Currently they are working on a green vision for some empty industrial sites along Lake Calumet.

Very inspiring!!




Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Green Roof in Ottawa

Image from Google Earth

From Metro News:

Ontario Completes Ottawa Courthouse Green Roof (2012)
"A new green roof at the Ottawa Courthouse will reduce energy costs, improve air quality and help Ontario meet its long-term energy conservation goals.  (The roof's green space is bigger than four hockey rinks put together, or one football field.) 
The Ottawa Courthouse's green roof is a living landscape that supports 60 varieties of plants and protects the building's structure from the elements. There are 26 separate green roofs spanning multiple elevations, for a total of 70,000 square feet of green space that will help keep Ottawa's air clean. 
While a conventional roof lasts only 20 to 25 years, green roofs last at least twice as long. The new green roof will save $23,000 a year in energy costs by reducing summer cooling and winter heat loss by 26 per cent."

I found this after reading about Ottawa investing in solar energy on their municipal buildings:

Ottawa gets green with solar energy project (Metro News, September 2016)

"Eight municipal buildings now equipped with solar panels."


Monday, September 26, 2016

Via Verde project in Mexico City (citizen-led)


Have you seen this?  Even just looking at this image makes me feel calm!  I'd love to drive on a highway like this - imagine if Toronto did this to their highway downtown!

Great facts about the project:

- 40,000 meters of roadways and concrete pillars will be covered
- will fight pollution, beautify the city and decrease stress levels of motorists
- the green walls will generate oxygen, absorb pollutants and moderate traffic noise
- an automated irrigation system supplied by rainwater will be used
- the project is being funded by private donors, government and advertisers

From Upworthy and Now This:


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More about SNAP - Black Creek (TRAC - Toronto)

From SNAP - Black Creek:

San Romanoway Revival: Greening the Corner of Jane and Finch.

The Black Creek SNAP transformed underutilized spaces around the low-income apartment towers at the corner of Jane and Finch into a vibrant park, with a 63 plot allotment garden and Toronto’s largest urban orchard. The project also includes pollinator gardens, naturalization areas with hundreds of native trees and shrubs, interpretative signage and a beautiful arbour structure, designed to offer shade and harvest rainwater to support the gardens. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the development of the park.

Balcony Gardening program

114 edible balconies in five low-income, high rise apartment towers were implemented during the summers of 2014 and 2015. Eight residents were hired as community leaders to mentor their neighbours

Black Creek Orchard Co-op

Black Creek SNAP homeowners with fruit trees have been joining forces to tend their collective urban orchard. Comprised of a very diverse group of fruit tree owners, the group meets regularly to exchange information and attend presentations led by professionals. A short term goal is for members to help one another prune trees and harvest fruit, and a long term goal is to create a social enterprise opportunity by pooling the harvested fruit and creating a Black Creek Orchard wine label, which can be sold at markets around Toronto and even beyond.

http://sustainableneighbourhoods.ca/wp/black-creek-snap/

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More about SNAP - Bayview Glen (TRAC - Toronto)



From SNAP - Bayview Glen

On September 28 the Markham’s City Council approved the proposed design concept for Glencrest Park and endorsed it for implementation in 2015-2016.

The updated Glencrest Park will include a modern playground and a shade structure near the entrance to the park at Ladyslipper Court and amenities such as a labyrinth, a meditation garden and an open play space. A proposed trail system will connect key features within the park and will provide an off-street pedestrian linkage between Laureleaf Road and Ladyslipper Court.

The re-creation of the valley feature with raingardens will transform the landscape within Glencrest Park from maintained turf to a rich mosaic of ecotones, creating a naturalized landscape and supporting the attenuation of stormwater runoff. A looped trail system of approximately 600 m surrounding the raingardens and the mediation garden will afford opportunities for walking and jogging within a naturalized landscape setting. Tree planting is proposed extensively throughout the park with the intent of expanding the tree canopy and promoting evapotranspiration.

Glencrest Park has received a $60,000 grant from the RBC Blue Water Project. This grant will support the implementation of the raingardens and tree planting and creation of a naturalized landscape that enhances the evapotranspiration and infiltration of stormwater.

Link to Map