City names Riverdale Farm stewards Newly-named stewards include P3 specialist, consultants

Eric Morse –

A blue-ribbon panel of nine citizen members has been named to the Riverdale Farm stewardship group.

The March 18 announcement from Ward 28 councillor Pam McConnell’s office concludes a lengthy terms-of-reference and recruitment process which began in September 2012.

The purpose of the stewardship group is to implement the business plan, develop a long-term strategic plan for farm and program enhancements, and to support efforts to create a sustainable funding base.

McConnell feels that the appointments should lay to rest lingering concerns on the part of the Farm’s local neighbours that the neighbourhood will not have adequate input.

“We have brought together a highly energetic and diverse group with a broad scope of backgrounds, experiences, and expertise,” she said in her announcement.

The appointees are Danielle Goldfinger, Gia Jobe, Steven McCahon, Ahsan Mirza, Anne Pastuszak, Sarah Rea, George Rust-D’Eye, Brad Savage, and Cassie Scott.

Two of the appointees, Pastuszak and Rust-D’Eye, are prominent Cabbagetowners with a long history of involvement with the Farm and the campaign to save it from proposed privatization following the 2010 election.

Pastuszak told The Bulletin, “As a Cabbagetown resident and Torontonian, I think of the Riverdale Farm as a very special destination. Preserving it, enhancing its programs, creating new partnerships and strengthening its role in educating our next generation are activities that need financial sustainability and solid, visionary long-term planning.

“I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues—a very skilled multidisciplinary group from all across the city—to make that a reality.”

The stewardship group met the public at an open house at Riverdale Farm on March 28.

Members were to be briefed on the terms of reference, business plan and the Farm’s offerings and programs, said parks manager Sandy Straw.

A similar recruitment process is underway for a stewardship group for the St Lawrence Market. At Councillor Pam McConnell’s office, appointments will be made in late April.

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