It seemed at times that more people were worried about the poor grass under the #occupytoronto tents and crowds than they were about anything else. After the grasskillers left pretty quietly, not with a bang or a whimper but with their head held high, the cost of remediation was estimated to be as high as C$ 40,000, and time was running out before the frost set in.
But now volunteers are occupying the park: landscape contractors from Landscape Ontario and the Nursery Sod-Growers Association. They say in a press release:
"There is a huge volunteer effort that will be happening here," says Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. "There will be more than 10,000 rolls of sod and at least 23 dump trucks of soil and an incredible number of people being very charitable."
Councillor Pam McConnell, who supported the Occupation, is thrilled, saying “I am very excited that St. James Park will become green again and in such short time."
Goodwill abounds all round. Even in the horrid Toronto Sun, conservative councillor Norm Kelly says
Things can happen in a way you don’t expect. Who would have thought at the height of the occupation that residents would have a nicer park than they did before?
Even the #occupytoronto supporters have joined the party, contributing C$ 10,000 for Christmas lighting.
These things don't have to end in pepper spray; from the police to the landscapers to the head of the Bank of Canada and former Prime Minister Paul Martin, everybody knows we have a problem of employment and inequality.
Congratulations to Landscape Ontario and everyone else who contributed to making St. James Park safe for doggies again.