Our gardens are about kids and their grownups, plants and their people – from all over the world!
who we are
We are a for-impact food and nature literacy program in three adjoining dense urban neighbourhoods in downtown east Toronto. We partner with schools, City and community agencies to help foster urban agriculture, greenspace enjoyment, physical and mental health benefits. We promote environmental education by doing.
We are grateful to be in this community and on these sacred lands where we live and work, which have supported humanity for at least 15,000 years. These are the lands and waters of the Anishnaabek, Haudenosaunee, the Seneca, Wendat/Wyandot and Petun First Nations, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River.
We respect their elders and descendants and seek to honour the Great Law of Peace & the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant between allied peoples; to peaceably share and responsibly care for the resources of the Great Lakes region, as is said, with all our relations, all the animals, plants, waters and rocks that make soil, the Standing People who keep us shaded in summer, and all of Creation that we are but a small part of
Rose Avenue Public School
what we do
We run school garden programs that provide all ages and all backgrounds with a variety of settings such as native/naturalized plantings, meadow ecosystems, native tree species in their own mini-nurseries, and small-scale agriculture including production of kid-friendly small fruits and vegetables, aerobic/thermal and worm composting. When the weather gets cold, we bring the garden inside through classroom workshops on topics related to food and the environment. In early spring (post-pandemic!) our programs move to a City of Toronto greenhouse, where children and youth start the seeds for their gardens. We have a Partnership Agreement with the Toronto District School Board, and serve a cluster of schools.
Green Thumbs offers food growing and environmental education programs in
3 inner-city schools and 2 park sites. Our programs take place in the east downtown Toronto neighbourhoods of St. James Town, Cabbagetown, and Regent Park. Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a non-profit registered charity run by a Board of Directors.
where we came from
Green Thumbs was started by Sunday Harrison as a project in 1999, as an after school gardening and nature program for 6-12 year olds at Riverdale Farm. Through this program, school gardens grew.
2001 - Green Thumbs moved to the Winchester Public School to further grow its programming accommodating workshops, presentations and increase food production.
2007 - Rose Avenue Public School joined the roster which is one of the TDSB's Eco Schools.
2010 - Green Thumbs got involved with the Lead2Peace initiative at Sprucecourt Public School and helped expand food production and create raised garden beds.