October 3, 2020
Green Cities Foundation rehabilitates Hamilton neighbourhood
The Green Cities Foundation met with staff from St. Matthews House in Hamilton, Ont. to discuss plans for the first #GreenMyCity project.

Green Cities Foundation rehabilitates Hamilton neighbourhood

The Green Cities Foundation is a community connecting plants and people for a greener healthier urban climate. St. Matthews House has been chosen by the Green Cities Foundation to be the first #GreenMyCity project in Hamilton, Ont., as well as at three parks in the surrounding neighbourhood.

St. Matthew’s House is a non-profit charitable organization founded by the local Anglican churches in inner city Hamilton with a focus on caring for vulnerable populations in the surrounding neighbourhoods. This project aligns with the Green Cities Foundation’s vision to help communities across Canada to improve green spaces in urban locations.

Working together with our major sponsor RBC Insurance, as well as the Barton Village BIA, Beautiful Alleys, The City of Hamilton, The Golden Horseshoe Chapter of Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association membership, the #GreenMyCity2020 project will create a natural landscape that will improve community health and well-being in the Barton Village Community.

This project will green a part of the city that has more asphalt per capita than anywhere else, and remediate a brownfield that has sat idle for more than 50 years. It will provide 80 kids aged 0-4 with a green playground in a deeply urbanized environment where access to green space is limited. Organizers are working with community partners from a diverse array of groups such as parents and children, seniors and youth, neighbours and faith groups to have a positive impact on the environment and create a space to live, grow and play.

The natural playground design includes log structures, chalkboards, clusters of stumps, a xylophone and rolling hills. The new facilities will provide exciting places for children to discover nature, make art and music, climb and jump. The parking lot renovation will add space for community gatherings including bistro table seating areas, game tables and greenery. The restoration will encompass the Business Out of the Box project (BoB), a Women’s Entrepreneur Collective (WEC), an entrepreneur initiative to develop a small retail business through a collaborative model. The Native and hardy plant species will help create a buffer zone between the natural space and Hamilton’s busy Barton East corner: a healthy, sustainable green space in a dense urban environment that will reduce heat buildup, control air pollution, prevent soil erosion, and contribute to energy saving.

 The rehabilitation project will start in the Fall of 2020. Volunteers will be working together with residents of Hamilton to organize community garden clean ups, tree plantings, and turf maintenance in the surrounding Woodland, Birge and Birch park areas during our St. Matthew’s House build, carrying over into Spring 2021.

Alan White, Vice Chair of the Green Cities Foundation, has been instrumental in leading this project alongside Paul Brydges and Peter Guinane.“We hope that by building projects like this across Canada, we will help educate the public and our politicians on the value of green spaces and the impacts to the community that they can provide — helping to mitigate climate change by cooling our cities, improving the mental health of the residents, filtering water and improving stormwater management, and providing cleaner air to breathe.” For more information or to get involved with this project, please contact Rebecca Doutre at gcfdirector@gcfoundation.ca, or visit gcfoundation.ca.