After five weeks playing host to Occupy Toronto protesters, the lawn at Toronto’s St. James Park suffered severe damage as the lawn was trampled to death.

The 7-acre site was brought back to life in just two days with the help of Project EverGreen Canada and local volunteers and organizations, including the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario and Landscape Ontario.

More than 13,000 rolls of sod and two dozen dump trucks of soil — all donated — were used to beautify the urban park. In all, more than $60,000 in labor was donated to the project.

Volunteers from member Landscape Ontario and Nursery Sod Growers Association firms were on site Dec. 7 for preparation work, but the noticeable difference occurred the following day as more than 150 volunteers helped place the new sod.

Restoring the lawn at St. James Park was an effort on par with planting a forest of trees when it comes to cleaning our air and creating the best situation for a healthy environment, according to Project EverGreen.

“A green and healthy lawn is just as important as a tree,” says Kyle Tobin, manager of the St. James Park project. “We have a unique opportunity right now before winter to restore the lawn and take advantage of ideal conditions.”

A lush, green lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye. For instance:

220 square feet of turfgrass produces enough oxygen for a family of four, which means restoring the turfgrass in St. James Park produced enough clean air for 545 families.
Lawns are 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees F cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer.
Turf improves water quality by storing and filtering the water that would otherwise go into catch-basins and into the lake.
A 10,000-square-foot lawn will contain six grass plants per square inch, 850 plants per square foot and 8.5 million plants total.

“When you consider the immense environmental benefits of turf, we made a huge impact with the revitalization of St. James Park,” says Alan White, president of Project EverGreen Canada and manager of the St. James Park project. “A new lawn in the park will have the equivalent impact of producing enough clean air for 2,180 people each day. It will help maintain a healthy temperature in our environment and work to keep our air and water clean.”

About Project EverGreen
Headquartered in New Prague, Minn., Project EverGreen is a national non-profit organization representing green industry service providers, associations, suppliers/distributors, media companies and other organizations. Project EverGreen is committed to informing the Canadian public about the positive effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses and parks. Project EverGreen wants to inspire people to get involved and get passionate about green spaces. For more information, visit or