Evergreen Foundation: Adaptive Reuse, Urban Renewal and Citizen Engagement
by Kevin On
On May 26th, we are excited to welcome Geoff Cape, CEO of the Evergreen Foundation. The Evergreen Foundation is a Canadian organization that exemplifies the role of community in urban renewal and sustainability. Evergreen engages communities in a variety of ways to inspire citizens to influence sustainable lifesyltes. Evergreen’s mission is to inspire action for building green cities by focusing on the development in four key areas: Greenspace, Children, Food, and “CityWorks”. At the heart of their operation is the Evergreen Brick Works, which has had an immediate impact in the community by creating a tangible example of adaptive reuse for living sustainably.
The Evergreen Brick Works is located in the former home of the Don Valley Brick Works, first built in 1889. The factory closed nearly 100 years later in 1984, and has been repurposed by the Evergreen Foundation into a cultural center that offers programs for the community all-year round. Since 2010, this site has been a living example of how past and present can work together to create greener models for urban living.
There are a large variety of programs that call Evergreen Brick Works home. From biking to pottery, this center provides opportunities for both young and old to explore. Included in these activities is a weekly farmer’s market with over 25 farmers from the region, and is currently the largest farmer’s market in Toronto with a wide variety of local and seasonal foods. This market inspires people to make healthier choices, as well as to learn more about how food is grown and produced. The Evergreen Brick Works is leading the way for green initiatives and has been named a top 10 geotourism destination by National Geographic. This site is a truly inspirational project that is an example for all cities.
The mission that Geoff Cape and the Evergreen Foundation have started is one that could have a huge impact on the future of sustainability and urban renewal. At his talk on May 26th Geoff will be going into detail about the Evergreen Brick Works as well as the reimagining of the Toronto River Valley. These subjects as well as the rest of Geoff Cape’s work is an interesting piece in a larger discussion about sustainability and urban renewal which we hope this talk will advance.
Please join us on May 26th from 5-6:15pm at the Quad Club to hear Geoff Cape from the Evergreen foundation talk about the Brickworks and Toronto River Valley Projects. The event is part of the Frizzell Family Memorial Fund Activities and co-sponsored by the College, Environment, Agriculture and Food Group, Chicago Society, Green Economics Group, AOII and the Program on Global Environment.