Horan, Assistant Supervisor of Parks, in charge of horticulture for the City of Woodstock Parks Department heard about the work of Come Alive Outside from Andy Paluch while attending Congress 2016. Working for the City, Horan spearheaded the project, using her connections with the downtown business association who runs the street festival. Horan felt it was the perfect opportunity to stage the event. With the venue secured, Horan then connected with LO member John Perriman, owner of Mountview Services in Princeton, Ont., who then secured the sod from Middlesex Sod Supply. Perriman’s crew of seven laid down the eight skids of sod on the morning of the streetfest in about a half hour. Perriman says the transformation of about 5,600 sq. ft. instantly drew attention. “The sod was a big draw for the Streetfest. Lots of people were asking about it and taking pictures to share with friends and family on social media. I think the message was well received,” he says. “The downtown BIA loved it because everyone was raving about it. It became a destination. The whole community really loved it,” Horan says. Once the sod was rolled up, it was installed the next day at a new park that didn’t have a large enough budget for sod, only seed. “Our community is really growing,” says Horan, which means a lot of new parks being constructed and having the sod really makes a difference. Horan is already planning the event again next year and says the event this year may help to create awareness for some of the other programs held in the summer.
Come Alive Outside Design Challenge
The Come Alive Outside Design Challenge is another event Wentorth has
The Woodstock Summer Streetfest featured exercise classes, soccer and random play.
been involved in for a number of years. The most recent one held in mid-October, engages landscape design students from several colleges and partners them with landscape companies to actually build their designs at local schools. “How to get more young people into the profession is another message that the program addresses specifally with the Design Challenge,” Wentworth explains. “College students then become ambassasors for the industry.” Wentworth says by connecting educators, students and professionals via the Design Challenge, it helps to attract more young people to the landscape professions — exposing them to the many positive effects their work has on the community.
The long term goal of the Green Streets challenge is to show health care professionals, pediatricians, educators, city planners and government that the landscape professions can be the real experts who offer real world solutions for reconnect-
Families, friends and and neighbours take full advantage of a closed off street in Picton on July 1.
ing people with nature in order to create healthier, happier lifestyles. Paluch says “we are not there yet,” but with more events being held and more conversations started as a result, a shift in thinking is not far off. “For us, the goal is to see more and more companies coming on board and embracing the shared mission. It’s really a hugely impactful thing and when it comes down to the front lines of reconnecting people with nature, there is nobody in a better position than landscape professionals,” says Paluch. In mid-August, the Green Streets Challenge also took place in Huntsville, Ont., garnering a lot of attention from local media and residents. “When you have a hospital and a children’s museum and a landscape professional all working together, that’s a really exciting thing,” says Paluch. More information on Come Alive Outside and the Green Streets Challenge and Design Challenge, in additon to many resources, can be found on their website at comealiveoutside.com.
Downtown Woodstock was transformed for the day using eight skids of sod, seven people and about 30 minutes.
The Voice of Landscape Ontario