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.
This land is traditionally a shared territory between the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe through the Dish With One Spoon Treaty. They agreed to care for the land together in peace. It has been territory utilized by the Huron-Wendat, the Petuns, and the Seneca. Now, it is stewarded by the Mississaugas of the Credit and it’s home to indigenous people from across Turtle Island. May our actions here on this land make us worthy. And during the ongoing crisis of colonialism, may we learn new ways of survival and sharing from First Nations Peoples. At Green Thumbs, we support the Call to Action #62(i) from the TRC, that calls on "our government and educators to make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for K-12 students."
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 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.
2000 - Green Thumbs moved to Winchester Public School to further grow its programming, accommodating workshops, presentations and increase food production.
2005 - Rose Avenue Public School joined the roster, which is one of the TDSB's Eco Schools.
2008 - Green Thumbs got involved with the Lead2Peace initiative at Sprucecourt Public School and helped expand food production and create raised garden beds.
First garden at Riverdale Farm, 1999
Garden program, Riverdale Farm
Garden program, Sprucecourt Public School