This year marks Canada’s 150th year since Confederation, and I love all the initiatives and programs being held to celebrate. Indeed, we have one beautiful country in which we are proud of, so it makes my heart happy to see so much extra care being taken this year to make Canada even greater. One such initiative that I’ve learned about recently that centres around recognizing Canada’s historical milestone, is the TD Common Ground Project, which aims to create a legacy by revitalizing green spaces across Canada to bring us all together.

TD invited organizations to apply for funding from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Over 150+ local community-driven initiatives were chosen to receive funding– from citizen science projects to trail building and lots more.

 

In actuality, TD is a company that gives back and supports communities in so many ways {and regularly it seems!}, yet this particular project is focused on supporting local municipalities and community organizations to revitalize hundreds of green spaces by helping build vibrant infrastructure and programming to meet the distinct needs of different communities. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our nation than to make our physical surroundings more beautiful and enjoyable, something of which everyone can enjoy.

 

With the TD Common Ground Project, Canadian communities are literally being built from the ground up with 150 grassroots projects across the country – with key projects in Montreal, Kingston, Scarborough, Waterloo, Calgary, Surrey and Halifax. Since I’m a proud Albertan, I’d like to draw special attention to the TD Common Ground Project in Calgary.

#TDCommonGround in Calgary is focused on enhancing Ralph Klein Regional Park located on the south side of the city. It’s 156 hectares (385 acres) wetland park and the largest constructed storm water treatment wetland in Canada. It’s designed as an intelligent landscape combining public art and unique educational programming to facilitate enquiry-based learning. The park already features a man‑made wetland, water edge trails, an urban orchard and an award‑winning Environmental Education Centre.

 

Ralph Klein Regional Park was designed so that all elements of the built environment (including the facilities, activities and amenities) were seamlessly integrated into the landscape. The park’s final design was inspired by the forms of the Canadian Prairies, with natural systems exposed to illustrate the interconnections between citizens and the environment.

It should be no surprise that of the thousands of visitors that this park sees each year, most of those are children, primarily those on school field trips. It’s a key location for education about the environment and water/land systems, yet since primarily children are participants park, it’s obvious that the location desperately needed a play area.

 

This is where #TDCommonGround comes in, since that is exactly what this project will provide for Ralph Klein Regional Park in Calgary. TD Common Ground Project is working with The City of Calgary to add in a natural playground which is not only great for the visiting children, but it will also become a valuable asset and component of The City of Calgary Parks’ plan to challenge Calgarian’s to rethink outdoor play and grow a new citizenry of nature lovers.

 

I recently spoke with Julie Guimond, Leader of Environmental Education at The City of Calgary, who not only talked passionately about the park and the construction of the natural playground- but also explained the design of the play structure and how it will give children greater independence and creative play – all the while reconnecting them with nature and further the park’s educational focus. I learned that kids even had input into the design!

 

The natural playground Ralph Klein Regional Park is set to complete this fall, and I cannot wait to see the end result. Thanks to the TD Common Ground Project, the Calgary project will definitely bring a community together, and assist in environmental education and nature-based play for children.

 

Check out the TD Common Ground project in Calgary and all the other TD Common Ground initiatives happening across Canadian communities during Canada’s150th year as a nation, and keep an eye on #TDCommonGround for progress on the projects.

 

To learn more about the Ralph Klein Park project, please visit:

TD Common Ground Project

 

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This post is sponsored by TD and the TD Common Ground Project