From January 2009 to December 2012, EcoSpark lead the Live Green Toronto (LGTO) Community Animation Program. The City of Toronto demonstrated leadership in contracting out community animation to a collaborative of local environmental and social organizations led by EcoSpark. The unique and innovative program was aimed at mobilizing the diverse communities across the City of Toronto through community animation. During that time, our animators empowered communities with the knowledge, tools and resources to take environmental action for a greener Toronto.
EcoSpark and its partners developed a strong foundation that enabled the program to be a success during its four years. We created and tested a new model of animation that included community, focused and intensive animation. We developed a toolkit of resources including eight training videos featuring local expertise from community and organizational leaders. We led a series of panels, meetings and summits for community members, innovators, and cross-sector experts to further develop and foster ways to “live green” in Toronto.
Our LGTO animators transformed communities in Toronto. They turned the concept and model of community animation into a reality and a norm. They:
Promoted the Live Green Toronto message to over 26,500 people and worked directly with an estimated 13,000 people
Worked with an estimated 450 groups to initiate green projects ranging from renewable energy to community gardens to cycle paths
Inspired an estimated 19,000 volunteer hours to support community projects across the City
Supported the identification and development of over 80 funding proposals, securing over $1,000,000 for green projects in Toronto
The benefits of the LGTO Community Animation program were far-reaching. There were numerous environmental benefits from the many activities undertaken by community groups: improved water and air quality, reduction of the heat island affect, increased energy conservation, decreased erosion and stormwater, and GHG emission reduction. The program also increased volunteerism, food security and the City’s capacity and presence in communities. Furthermore, it increased the needed connections between communities, organization, city staff and councillors.
“The community engagement process helped us to look at our work and be able to recognize how urban agriculture plays an important part in reducing greenhouse gas and smog-causing emissions in the City” - Anan Loloi, AFRI-CAN Foodbasket
Resources: Coming Soon.
Program Partners: EcoSpark, Conservation Council of Ontario, Centre for Social Innovation