Group photo of the Green Sinai Health committee with representatives from TD Bank, receiving a large cheque

Dr. Gary Newton, President and CEO of Sinai Health and members of the Green Sinai Health Committee accepted a cheque from representatives at TD Bank for a new community garden initiative

For many, the May long weekend marks the start of gardening season in Ontario. This year, it also marks the early stages of two new community healing and learning gardens that are coming to the Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai Hospital campuses.

Sinai Health has partnered with the City of Toronto, Orde Street Junior Public School, Emily’s House, Monarch Crusaders and the Pollinator Partnership to create a monarch butterfly and pollinator conservation habitat in the McCaul/Orde Park near Mount Sinai Hospital and Hubbard Park across from Bridgepoint.

These new garden projects are possible because of two successful applications to the TD Friends of the Environment grants for the amount of $14,650

“The parks will include native milkweed and nectar plants needed by monarch butterflies,” says Tracey Clatworthy, co-chair of the Green Sinai Health Committee, who was responsible for securing the grants. The gardens will also include interpretive signage that will inform the public about monarch butterfly biology and conservation needs.”

The monarch butterfly garden will improve the ecological value of McCaul-Orde and Hubbard Parks. It will also provide patients and local residents with access to enhanced green space, while supporting environmental and human well-being.

It is well documented that community healing gardens reduce stress and aid in increased mental well-being. Patients with access to nature through healing gardens have quicker recovery times, a reduction in stress, and an overall improvement in well-being. “With the addition of a habitat conservation area with informative signage we hope to increase the utilization of the park by the community as whole,” notes Tracey.

The planting at the McCaul/Orde Park will take place the second week of June.  Hubbard Park’s garden will be created in the fall as we continue to partner with the City to bring improvements to the park.  If you are interested in volunteering for either project please contact a member of the Green Sinai Health Committee.