October 31, 2011
Future Leaders Share Ideas about how to Green their Local Communities
Toronto – October 31, 2011
As part of the HSBC–Evergreen Youth Action Series initiative, youth from across Toronto gathered at Evergreen Brick Works yesterday to talk and learn about how they can make a positive difference in their own communities.
The event started with an engaging and interactive discussion in the morning about the importance of taking initiative in community greening projects, and about how local neighbourhoods could be transformed and revitalized by hard work, creativity and a love for nature. Empowered with a broadened sense of their own ability to effect change, the youth then turned discussion into action in the afternoon, participating in hands-on workshops that included building food gardens, growing sprouts indoors, and planting and land stewardship.
With help and guidance from experts in the field, the greening workshops and demonstration exercises are the perfect way to connect youth with nature while also providing tangible benefits to the local community.
“Highlighting the natural elements in a community and then inviting youth to be part of the building and maintenance of these natural spaces is important for individual and community pride,” explains Zanita Lukezich, manager of National Programs for Evergreen. “The energy, enthusiasm and ideas from the youth are truly inspiring.”
“It’s important to stay connected to nature especially in our cities,” said Jacques Fleurant, CFO, Global Banking and Markets and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada. “Our support to youth initiatives such as this one is an investment in Canadian youth and we are confident in an outstanding return for the environment.”
The next HSBC–Evergreen Youth Action Series event takes place in Montreal on November 5, 2011.
Across Canada, over a thousand city children and youth who rarely get a chance to climb trees or feel the grass under their feet will be getting an opportunity to connect with nature. A donation of $400,000 over two years from HSBC Bank Canada, and an additional one-time donation of $200,000 from HSBC Holdings plc in the UK, will support the HSBC Student Bursary Program at Evergreen Brick Works, Evergreen Common Grounds program and HSBC–Evergreen Youth Action Series.
In Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, some 200 to 250 high-needs and at-risk youth will experience nature first-hand through workshops and plantings, learning everything from urban agriculture to water conservation through the HSBC–Evergreen Youth Action Series.
“Research and our experience shows that education through connecting with nature builds healthy and confident young minds,” explained Geoff Cape, executive director of Evergreen.
Evergreen is a national not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future.
Evergreen Brick Works
Evergreen’s new home is a community environmental centre in the heart of the Toronto’s ravine system. It is many things: a vibrant public space featuring a local farmers’ market and retail garden centre; a showcase of sustainable design; an educational playground for green living; and an international hub that fosters new ideas in urban innovation.
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in Canada. With around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories and assets of US$2,691 billion at 30 June 2011, the HSBC Group is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.
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