Come Alive Outside is rapidly gaining momentum. The building of this year's display at Canada Blooms was a prime example of that with nine companies and organizations involved. Our company collaborated with Landscape Ontario, Moon Glow Lightscapes, Mountview Landscaping, Turf Systems Inc., The Weed Man, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Unilock, and Turf Care Lighting Products.
Here's why it's spreading...
When you think back to your childhood, what do you remember? Is it that one Saturday when you sat in the living room and watched reruns all day? Or is it something that happened outside? Maybe the first time you caught a fish? What about that time when you came home so muddy that your mom had to spray you off with the hose before she even let you into the garage? Remember that tree you used to sit under? How about that one snowman that didn’t melt for two whole months? The Come Alive Outside missions is to inspire collaborative community systems that create the awareness, intention and opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside.
The reality of this message is so powerful it's resonating among individuals and communities at an accelerating rate. Last year CAO held three Green Street Challenges. This is an event in which a city temporarily closes part of a street and covers it with turf so people can play on the grass, get their hands dirty, and just plain feel nature.
This year Come Alive Outside will host at least five Green Street Challenges in the United States and another 10 in various communities throughout Ontario presented by Cub Cadet. Additional events are in discussion. The Green Street Challenge is a reminder to all of us that getting outside is good for us in so many ways; health, happiness, and overall well being. You can find out more information about those events here.
Another program the organization is expanding on is the Design Challenge. An event that creates the opportunity for post-secondary, high school, elementary and preschool students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities.
Four of these events took place in the United States last year, while only one occured in Ontario. This year Ontario currently has two lined up, while in Memphis the "National Showcase" will ensue. This will be one mega Design Challenge event that will see 10 of the top schools in the United States come together in the spirit of designing a better future. Learn more about the Design Challenge here.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2017. Let's get started!