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Sep. 18, 2019 | Wednesday
Local News
Town launches adopt-a-park cleanup program
Communities in Bloom board members Rene Bertschi and Bette Ann James spoke of the upcoming 2019 season at the community centre. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

NOTL is launching an Adopt-a-Park program and encouraging service groups in town to assist the town in maintaining green spaces. 

The project is part of the Communties in Bloom program and the town is going to stock a trailer with all the tools needed to tidy up parks.

“We’re asking community groups that want to be involved to adopt a park and organize cleanups. We are very excitied about this program,” said Kevin Turcotte, manager of parks and recreation. 

“All of our neighbourood parks are available to be adopted.”

Town staff and members of the Communties in Bloom committee met at Sweets and Swirls Café in the community centre on May 10 to announce plans for the 2019 season.

The town borrowed the park adoption idea from a similar program successfully run by the city of Hamilton.

Information about how to apply for Adopt-a-Park, which is set to launch June 1, will be posted to social media by the town once plans are finalized.

When they’re approved, adopters will need to attend a training session and sign an agreement, committing to at least three organized cleanups a year.

Aside from the cleanup program, the town’s involvement in Communities in Bloom this year will veer away from the competitive side, focusing more on bringing the community together. The town will jump back into the competition for the 2020 season.

This year the committee will participate in the Circle of Excellence category, a non-evaluated designation. Organizers plan to prepare to compete in the Class of Champions category next year.

Niagara-on-the-Lake demonstrated its ability to stand out on a provincial and national level during competitions in previous years. NOTL was a national finalist in 2016, earning a “five blooms” silver rating – a sign of excellence in floral arrangements, community involvement and exceptional green spaces.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said upcoming projects are about more than just showcasing beautiful gardens and flower arrangements – they will connect the community.

“It’s about community involvement, civic engagement and community pride. It’s also about protecting our environment and celebrating our culture,” she said.

Participation in Communities in Bloom was initiated by council in 2015 to showcase the beauty of the town and to connect with the community, Turcotte said.

The organizing committee covers all five areas of NOTL – connecting the entire town through floral arrangements, gardening initiatives and community participation.

Rene Bertschi, a Communities in Bloom board member, said residents all over town were happy to be involved in the program.

“This community just jumped on board. This is an incredible community of people,” Bertschi said.

Since many residents have lived “such incredible lives” and have travelled the world, they have been able to bring back home the inspiration of beautiful places they’ve visited, he said. That adds to the quality of NOTL’s green spaces and gardens.

Other programs planned by the committee were announced Friday as well.

The Horticultural Society’s Garden of the Week will run throughout summer. Nomination forms will be available through the town’s Join the Conversation page.

Tulips for Trees, which runs in partnership with the NOTL Rotary Club, will feature the sale of tulip bulbs from town displays. The proceeds will go toward the town’s tree fund.

A mobile app for the Voices of Freedom park is set to launch on July 9 to coincide with the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Act to Limit Slavery.

It will provide a walking tour of the black history landmarks around town.

The hydro box beautification project plans to turn three transformer boxes in the Historical District into art installations with decorative vinyl wraps.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Communities in Bloom committee, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro and the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre. 

This year will mark Communities in Bloom’s 25th year enhancing community green spaces across Canada.

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