The impact of Evergreen’s work is made possible by our donors, partners and supporters. Whether through programming at Evergreen Brick Works or in communities across the country, we are building flourishing, sustainable cities together.
Each month we will feature three snapshots of our diverse supporters. Learn about what makes them so passionate about the work of Evergreen.
October 2019 Snapshots
Community Partner: Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training
Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training has been one of Evergreen’s long-standing partners for more than 15 years by providing wage subsidies for Indigenous employees and interns. Through their support, Evergreen has been blessed with knowledgeable and skilled individuals who have greatly contributed to our Indigenous Urban Agriculture program, integrated Indigenous programming within our Visiting Schools Program and Summer Camp, and enabled us to develop allyship strategies to strengthen our ties with Indigenous communities and organizations.
“Miziwe Biik was given its name by Elder Jim Windigo. Our name means “water which flows around us.” We are happy to have a long-standing commitment to work in partnership with Evergreen. Our organization meets the unique employment and training needs for the Indigenous community throughout the GTA, and over the years we have seen several community members gain job experience at Evergreen, and go on to great success.” - Savanna Chiblow, Marketing and Communications Officer, Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training
Interested in working in partnership with Evergreen? Contact Evergreen at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with the appropriate person for partnership opportunities with your organization.
Volunteer: Rima Rowsell
The inaugural Drop, Swap, and Shop was Rima’s first exposure to Evergreen, and it has kept her coming back as a volunteer ever since. Rima was so inspired by the spirit of the event – through trading goods that she no longer needed, to learning about sustainability through the panel discussions and vendors – that she returns to Toronto twice a year to lend a hand. Her passion for the event and the work that we do is so strong, that she travels into the city, books a hotel, and dedicates her entire weekend to Evergreen and Drop, Swap, and Shop! Rima feels that this one event encompasses much of what Evergreen stands for; reducing our environmental impact, bringing people together, and sharing innovative ways to create sustainable cities.
“Through events like Drop, Swap, and Shop, people get to see Evergreen’s mission in action, and they have access to everything that Brick Works has to offer as a site in the city. But it goes beyond the just the site; people who visit the space can take something away with them and incorporate those practices into their own lives and communities. I can’t think of any other place that does that!”
Evergreen is always looking for new volunteers. Become an Evergreen volunteer today!
Individual Donor: Rosanne Berry & Stephen Young
Rosanne and Stephen have a special and unique relationship with Evergreen. Not only do they see our work as a worthwhile financial investment, they also see value in lending their time, energy, and skills. First exposed to Evergreen through the Saturday Farmers Market, Rosanne and Stephen quickly realized that there was something special about Evergreen Brick Works. Rosanne knew that when she retired, she wanted to spend her time volunteering here, and is now a dedicated volunteer in many areas of programming, from Compost Crew to Garden Circle to Park Advocate.
Because they are so connected to the Brick Works, they are able to have an eye on areas of need that others may not notice, and enjoy being able to contribute to those less obvious areas. They proudly provided funding for the installation of the firepit in the Children’s Garden, and enjoy seeing their gift come to life and being enjoyed by kids in the Garden on a daily basis. As well, they funded the installation of water bottle filling stations to help reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. Rosanne and Stephen simply hope that their contributions can help to create a more accessible and enjoyable experience for visitors of the Brick Works, and to help maintain the important work that Evergreen does.
“Evergreen Brick Works is special because it brings people together. As we help to develop some of the core bones of the Brick Works, we hope that more people will visit and enjoy everything that the Brick Works has to offer. It can be a destination and we’d like to see more and more of that. We want to be able to continue to help support Evergreen Brick Works as the important hub that it is all year round.”
Want to donate to Evergreen? Learn more here.
Corporate Partner: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a long-standing history of investing in the communities in which they operate. Though partnerships and volunteering with partner organizations, they help make communities thrive and simultaneously build strong, healthy economies.
For the past 3 years, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has partnered with Evergreen providing bursary support for our Visiting Schools program and increasing student engagement. For the second year in a row, they have championed the creation of our Cultural Performing Arts Series – a seven month celebration of music and dance at Evergreen Brick Works. Their passion for bringing people together and educating future generations is inspiring!
“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of Evergreen’s Cultural Performing Arts Series at Evergreen Brick Works. Evergreen and the many initiatives they champion closely align with our firm’s global and local Environmental, Social and Governance values, which makes us great partners“. – Gaylen Duncan, Country Operating Officer
Donor: Ellie Givertz-Steel
When you become a Bat Mitzvah, you take on the responsibility of performing charitable acts – or “tzedakah“, which literally means “justice“. Ellie decided that instead of receiving gifts for her Bat Mitzvah, she would ask her family and friends to donate to Evergreen’s Visiting Schools Bursary Program. Ellie was inspired by Evergreen’s mission to create flourishing cities, and felt that our vision fit with the verses from the Torah that she would be reading, which teach that if we don’t allow the land that feeds us to recover, we risk losing the land forever.
Ellie wanted to ensure that other young people like herself would be able to experience the same connection to nature that she herself enjoyed and appreciated; funding the Bursary program would help bring more students in the GTA to Evergreen Brick Works and enable them to benefit from the many different areas of programming on site. ”I hope that the donations from my family and friends allow Evergreen to connect with more kids, so that they can experience nature in the city and feel a real connection to both.”
Volunteer: Mick Malowany
Mick came to Evergreen in the summer of 2017 as a volunteer and in search of an outlet—a cause that would channel his passion for sustainability and allow him to grow beyond his career as a software engineer. When he signed up with the Don River Valley Park (DRVP) program as a Park Advocate, he got more than he bargained for: within a few months, Mick was so inspired by the challenges and benefits of building a livable city, that he started mapping out a career change out of technology and into city-building and urban innovation.
Through his volunteer work with the DRVP, he became involved with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as a member of the Regional Watershed Alliance and the Youth Council Steering Committee, and is now going on to pursue a Masters in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge this October.
“The mission and values of Evergreen really resonate with me, and got me to think about sustainability in a much broader sense—to recognize how tightly all of our urban issues are tied together, and how that complexity and entanglement creates both challenges and opportunities. There’s something unique about Evergreen Brick Works too, both as a space and as a community. The opportunity you find here, to engage with people and issues at such a local level, to have a tangible impact, to learn, to educate, to activate, and to create… it really got me hooked.”
Corporate Partner: Aphria Inc.
Aphria Inc.’s Plant Positivity platform – designed to champion plants and their benefits to improve our collective well-being and that of the planet – is an excellent match for the work of Evergreen. With their partnership, six new garden spaces were launched at Evergreen Brick Works, adding more than 50 varieties and more than 2,000 native plant species to the existing 8,000-square-metres of gardens across our site. These gardens will serve to further our joint missions of creating access to green spaces for communities, while working to create flourishing and sustainable cities.
"Finding ways to give back and fostering stronger, healthier communities everywhere Aphria operates is the core of who we are. Countless studies have shown that increased exposure to plants and green spaces contributes to overall well-being. Through our Plant Positivity Gardens at Evergreen Brick Works, we hope to make a meaningful impact on people's lives." - Irwin D. Simon, Interim CEO, Aphria Inc.
Volunteer: Sarah Tran
Before joining Evergreen’s volunteer team in 2016, Sarah Tran was a frequent visitor to Evergreen Brick Works. Finding so much joy in her visits to the Brick Works, she decided to get involved in a tangible way, and began her volunteer journey with Evergreen as a rink attendant, supporting the accessible skating programs. Her volunteer experience has grown vastly since she first became involved, with her offering her time to support initiatives like Drop Swap and Shop, Urban Agriculture, and Active Living.
Sarah feels very closely connected to the mission of Evergreen, and believes that it is extremely important to share the skills and values that she has gained with the Grade 5 and 6 students that she teaches. Through her volunteer work, she endeavours to set an example for the kind of active, global citizens that her students can become.
“Evergreen Brick Works holds special meaning to me as a place where I can learn about our local environment and what we can do to make it sustainable, partake in physical activity that allows me to relieve myself of the stresses of everyday life, and be at peace with nature. From the Brick Works’ infancy to my continued support in programming at Evergreen Brick Works, I have seen how the Brick Works campus has evolved into a leading example of how humans can positively contribute to the natural and built environments that exist around them and reap the benefits of this mutual relationship!”
Corporate Partner: Brickworks Ciderhouse
Brickworks Ciderhouse has been an important partner of Evergreen since 2018 supporting Evergreen Brick Works with a special interest in our Urban Agriculture program. With a focus on utilizing local, sustainable produce, Brickworks Ciderhouse embodies our mission of creating flourishing and liveable cities. With their support of our place making initiatives at Summer Wednesdays and their presenting sponsorship of the Harvest Apple Festival, Brickworks Ciderhouse is bringing people together and helping to build connected and resilient communities.
“Evergreen Brick Works is a magical oasis in the city and Brickworks Ciderhouse is proud to support their growth and impact on our community. Their ability to connect city dwellers to urban agriculture and teach us about local and native produce is critical to deepening our understanding of our food systems. This local focus speaks to the core of the Brickworks Ciderhouse philosophy and we are excited to continue making a meaningful impact together,” Martha Lowry, Head Cidermaker, Brickworks Ciderhouse
Are you part of a company and interested in learning how your organization can support Evergreen? Contact Pamela Wilson at email@example.com to chat about partnership opportunities.
Individual Donor: Brooke Hunter & Andrew Spence
When Brooke Hunter & Andrew Spence think about their connection to Evergreen, they think about their children. Brick Works has become an important hub in their lives, and they take part in a variety of Evergreen programs, such as attending Summer Camp or enjoying the benefits of the School Ground Greening program at their school.
The Hunter-Spence family also go on regular walks through the Ravine down to Brick Works – walks they cheekily refer to as “enforced marches”. Whether enforced or not, Brooke and her family are always amazed that this kind of green space exists – and is accessible to all – right in the middle of a global city. More broadly, they think of Evergreen as serving as a kind of “think tank” for how to create and maintain sustainable cities.
“Sustainability and children’s well-being are among the themes Andrew and I prioritize when considering donations; Evergreen fulfills both. We are happy to support Evergreen to help keep this important green community hub in action. Every citizen in this city – and in Canada for that matter – should have an interest in Evergreen continuing to thrive.” Brooke Hunter
Volunteer: Naveed Pirouzmand
Naveed Pirouzmand first became a volunteer with the Evergreen Summer Camp 2 years ago as a fun way to fulfill his high school volunteer hours, but the experience became so much more for him. Back for his second year this summer, Naveed has found true enjoyment and passion for the Camp and Evergreen.
He has also been gained new skills and leadership abilities that he enthusiastically shares with the kids he leads. With the younger children, he is able to help them engage with nature in a fun learning environment, and with the older campers, he finds a sense of connection and companionship. Naveed values his position as a role model to the campers, and is grateful that Evergreen has helped to bring that out in him.
“Brick Works does a lot for the community, and has also provided me with a meaningful volunteer experience. The Summer Camp is set in a great environment and the staff at Evergreen are extremely hardworking and give 100% to ensure that the campers have a great experience. I’m glad that kids can come to camp at Brick Works and experience nature, and that I have the opportunity to help them engage with the world around them.”