Students plant trees on Hydro One land this September. Go green!

“Vote for the Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field!”

Whether it’s slurred over morning announcements or offered with chocolate bars, students at Garneau have been told to vote for our neighbouring middle school’s project on the Aviva Community Fund competition for over a week. On Monday, Aviva announced that the Go Green project was not a finalist in the competition. The project, however, has not been stopped by this news.

The Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field is a lot more than a neighbourhood cricket oval. It’s a development project that hopes to unite the Thorncliffe and Flemington community. “Each community has their own special, huge arena, like Leaside,” said Hamza Khan, a grade 12 student from Marc Garneau. “[The Go Green Project] would become the centre of the community where everyone can come and enjoy.”

The project calls for an amphitheatre, a butterfly meadow, a wetland marsh, and a multi-sports field on school and Hydro One property behind Valley Park Public School. Student athletes rejoice: once complete, the field will include a baseball cage, basketball courts, soccer fields, and a running track in addition to the namesake cricket oval. $1.1 million has been raised to date, enough to begin construction for the project. Completion of the amphitheatre and multi-sports field is scheduled for summer 2013.

If there’s enough money for construction, why apply for even more funding? Phase One is all set, but Phase Two of the Go Green Project brings it all together. The second phase calls for outdoor sports lighting, a digital score board, and field equipment (soccer posts, for example) for the multi-sports field. Wednesday, December 12 the Go Green Project became an Aviva Community Fund semi-finalist. That’s where the votes went—to support the Go Green Project’s $120 000 bid for Phase Two. Although the Go Green Project did not qualify as an Aviva Finalist, Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park residents can expect Phase One to be complete summer 2013.

The Go Green Project has much to offer Garneau. When complete, it will host a diverse variety of community and wildlife conservation programs, providing Garneau students with plenty of mentorship opportunities. And with the multi-sports field, Garneau can finally hold home games—soccer, basketball, baseball, and cricket. “When I used to play for my [cricket] team, we had to travel all the way to Sunnybrook to practice, and we’d have to pay so much money just to play,” said Ifthikar Safi, grade 12 student and project volunteer. “I think it’d be really good for the community if we can have a home ground, so that other people can come by and play.”

The Go Green project’s concept plan for Phase One.