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Evergreen launches Neighbourhood Nature Play program for kids in Kitchener

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Toronto, ON - March 21, 2017) – The national not-for-profit organization Evergreen, in partnership with the City of Kitchener and generously supported by the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation (LSHF), launches Neighbourhood Nature Play, a project to expand outdoor play and learning opportunities in Gzowski and Kingsdale parks in Kitchener, Ontario.

Two volunteer-driven committees associated with the parks will participate in the design of the nature play areas. Residents will have the opportunity to engage in the process and the development of nature play spaces that respond to each community’s needs.

“In an era when so many parents are witnessing childhood moving more and more indoors, this collaboration is an exciting and important opportunity to reinvigorate routine outdoor play in a fun and safe environment close to home,” said Cam Collyer, Evergreen’s Executive Director of Programs. “This project aligns closely with the City of Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Strategy and placemaking approach and will bring benefits to children, parents and the communities they live in.“

The redesigned public spaces will connect children with nature and give them opportunities for physical activity and play in the outdoors. Play animators – specialists in child-directed outdoor play – will provide year-round nature play programming to the general public through part-time, weekend and after-school programs, as well as to schools and childcare centres through weekday programming. 

“The City of Kitchener’s operations and community services departments believe this opportunity to work with Evergreen and the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation is both timely and important,” said Josh Shea, natural areas coordinator for the City of Kitchener. “This initiative aligns seamlessly with the City’s neighbourhood strategy and our emerging strategy around placemaking. Evergreen’s unique expertise will evolve the City’s existing natural play areas for children, such as the Huron Natural Area Playscape.”

The project kicks off with two public community meetings on Monday, April 3 in Victoria Hills and Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Kingsdale neighbourhood. Residents are invited to learn more by attending the first community meetings listed below. Please RSVP to

Gzowski Park Community Meeting
Location: Victoria Hills Community Centre
Date: April 3, 2017
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Kingsdale Park Community Meeting
Location: Kingsdale Community Centre
Date: April 4, 2017
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Over the past 15 years, Evergreen, leaders in the design of natural play area and programs, has worked with Kitchener/Waterloo schools and school boards to transform school grounds into healthy and safe places to play and learn, while developing a genuine respect for nature and for each other.


For media information please contact:

Renee Tratch
Evergreen PR & Promotions Officer
Tel: 416-596-1495 X 273 

Lori-Ann Livingston
Communications and marketing associate
City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 x7383 | TTY 1-866-969-9994 |

About Evergreen: Since 1991, Evergreen, a not-for-profit, has provoked bold action in transforming public landscapes into thriving community spaces. We believe that connecting people, natural and built worlds create flourishing cities for the future. For more than 25 years Evergreen has connected, collaborated, and catalyzed Canadians to do amazing things positively affecting attitudes and behaviours that lie at the core of a sustainable city. For more information visit

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