An Interview with a Solar Wagon

Patience is a virtue. If it doesn’t work the first time, try and try again. There is a reason why some of these old adages still ring true today. Patience and a willingness to keep trying is why the Children’s Teaching Kitchen is here today. It’s also the reason why it has beautiful shiny new solar (photovoltaic) panels adorning the south-facing side of the roof!

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After a few false starts trying to get our panels installed last year our wonderful friends at the Toronto Renewable Energy Office came to the rescue. The Teaching Kitchen is now part of a group of City buildings with new solar arrays (multiple panels) that are part of the Ontario Power Authority’s MicroFit Program. This program allows people with smaller arrays of solar panels to sell the electricity they produce back to Toronto or Ontario Hydro. For more details on this program follow the link. Some of the other buildings include our friends at Warden Hilltop Community Centre, Edithvale Community Centre, Nielson Park Creative Centre, EMS Station 33 and York Civic Centre.

We’re excited to have our panels up and running! We’re also working away on new programs to help school groups and community members learn more about renewable energy.

For more information on how the solar panels work check out the final installment of our Teaching Kitchen Saga – A Sunny Epilogue, an interview with a Solar Wagon.

You can also check out a video of the solar panel installation by clicking here.

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FOUR MORE SLEEPS!!!

Only 4 more sleeps until Eco Camp Starts!!! Can you tell we’re Excited!?!?! Our Camp Counsellors have so many fun things in store for your campers they’ll be talking about Eco Camp all summer long. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you ready for Camp and to make Tuesday morning drop off go smooth and stress free.

First off there will be a couple more (quick and painless we promise!) forms for you to sign. These are permission forms for swimming, for the Junior & Youth offsite trip on Wednesday and the Sprouts trip to the splash pad on Thursday. If someone else is dropping off your camper we can sort this out over email. Please call Keely at 416-936-4983 if your child is not being dropped off by a parent or guardian or walking in by themselves. See below for more reminders for our Sprouts and Junior & Youth Campers. 

Sprouts (4-5 yrs):

  • Sprouts morning drop off location is right at the Children’s Garden in the South end of the Park. Don’t forget the road between Grenadier Restaurant and the Children’s Garden is a one-way road going south. If you have to drop off older campers at the picnic shelter near the pool plan your route accordingly! Click here for a map of High Park
  • Spouts need a swimsuit on Thursdays for their trip up to High Park’s fancy splash pad and wadding pool
  • Don’t forget sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers, a hat, sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, snacks and lunch
  • Click here for our Sprouts Eco Camp Parent Handbook

Junior (6-9 yrs) and Youth (10-14 yrs) Eco Campers:

  • We have swimming on Tuesday morning (also Thursday morning) so please make sure you pack a swimsuit and towel
  • Junior and Youth campers are dropped off towards the north end of the Park at the Picnic Shelter next to the pool and baseball diamonds (on the east side – the one-way northbound Colborne Lodge Drive side. Picnic shelter/area #15 on the map). Click here for a map of the park
  • Our older campers also do a lot of hiking so don’t forget sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers, hat, sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, snacks and lunch
  • Click here for the Junior & Youth Eco Camp Parent Handbook

Have yourselves a great long weekend and see you on Tuesday morning! ONLY FOUR MORE SLEEPS!

Odds & Sods – Youth Camp Spaces and Spring School Programs

Thank you to all of our Eco families once again for signing your campers up for Eco Camp this summer! For those of you that missed out make sure you’re on our waitlists. People’s plans change so there’s always a chance a space may open up.

Where we do have a few spaces is in our 10 to 14 year old camp. Our Youth Camp is truly an adventure that includes gardening and cooking fun! Click here for barcodes and click here to register now.

The other fun thing School Teachers can register for at this time of year is our Spring School Programs (please feel free to make suggestions to your camper’s teachers 😉 ). We offer curriculum focused programs with hands-on activities in organic gardening, nature exploration and healthy cooking. Did you know baking is a great way to learn about fractions? Possibly the tastiest way too! Click here for more information on our School Programs.

We look forward to seeing everyone this spring and summer!

Children’s Recreation Program Quality Survey

Have you had the opportunity to take the City’s Children’s Recreation Program Quality Survey yet? If not here’s your chance. This survey covers the wide range of children’s programming available through the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division. It closes on February 28th so spread the word!

To start the survey click here.

 Children's Program Survey

2017 Eco Camp Registration Starts March 4th-7 AM!

We’re creeping up on that time of year again! That rush of adrenaline, that setting the coffee machine for 6:45 am, that setting of 10 alarms to make sure you’re up in time, time of year again. That’s right 2017 Eco Camp Registration starts at 7 AM on Saturday, March 4th. Of course it’s also the time to register for any spring and summer recreation programs that take place in Etobicoke/York with the City of Toronto 🙂

Remember registration is open to everyone across Toronto! We break it down by area so our registration staff and computer systems can handle the number of people who want to sign up for all of our fun programs.

So get those fingers ready to hit the redial/refresh buttons to register your campers for Eco Camp! You will also find our Caregiver and tot (4 to 5 years) and child (9 to 12 years) Cooking With Veggies Programs plus our Edible Cosmetics Workshops for 10-16 year olds open for registration on March 4th.

Below you will find our handy barcode charts for all of your registration needs. You will also find our How to Register Infographic or click here to see last year’s Registration Preparation Post to help you deal with registration morning pandemonium!

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Just remember registration starts at 7 am on Saturday, March 4th, 2017!

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A quick Tip that didn’t make it into the infographic … sign up for all of your programs first. You can sign up for extended care at a later date/time. There’s always enough space for program participants in extended care so don’t waste your time Saturday morning … get right to the important barcodes 🙂

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March Break Eco Camp Registration

We know it’s tough thinking about March Break when plans for the holiday season are just warming up but it’s that time again! Registration starts tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 7 am. Spaces are limited so please make sure you start early!

For more information and barcodes for March Break Eco Camp 2017 go to our:

March Break Eco Camp Page.

For a reminder on registration procedures check out our:

Registration Preparation.

If you’re looking for fun activities during winter vacation we still have a few spaces in our Winter Break Programs:

Winter Break Programs.

Good luck to all and we hope to see your campers at Eco Camp in March!

Urban Agriculture With the City of Toronto

We’re going to be famous! We recently participated in the latest Exploring Toronto Gardens Video about the City of Toronto’s Urban Agriculture Programs. In the video you can learn more about our Community Gardens, Allotment Gardens and of course the Children’s Garden in High Park. Make sure you check out the whole video series on the City of Toronto’s Website!

High Park Harvest Festival

This is it! The celebration of the year 🙂 Join us on Sunday, October 2 from 12 pm to 4 pm for this year’s High Park Harvest Festival. You can enjoy our free harvest lunch, music, meet Professor Pricklethorn, make seed balls, leaf pounding bookmarks, dream pillows and more!

Harvest Festival 2015

You can also check out the great things happening around the corner at Colborne Lodge Museum! Activities run from 11 am to 5 pm. A special Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Thanksgiving Address on the West Lawn lead by Mohawk Elder William Woodworth Raweno:kwas will open Harvest Fest. They also have vendors, music, artisans and baked potatoes for sale.

So much to do you can spend the day in High Park! We look forward to seeing you at the Garden on Sunday!

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Where to Send Your Camper Info Forms

In case you’re wondering where to send those all important camper information forms … worry not! We have the answer 🙂 

Please remember they are due by Friday, June 17th, 2016

By Mail:

Children’s Eco Programs
Hillside Gardens, High Park
c/o Etobicoke Civic Centre Mail Room
399 The West Mall
Toronto, ON, M9C 2Y2

By Email:

kidsgrow@toronto.ca

By Fax

416-392-1319

Forms Due