19.6 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Cindy Grant stepping back from her volunteer roles
Cindy Grant says she will be stepping back from her volunteer roles by 2024. FILE/DARIYA BAIGUZHIYEVA


The Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society won’t be hosting its popular garden tour this year.

Cindy Grant, president of the garden group, said there’s not enough time to get the event together this year.

As president, coupled with her responsibilities as chair of Newark Neighbours and chair of the Niagara North Family Health Team, she said she’s just become too busy to organize it.

That, along with problems finding volunteers, led to the decision to cancel the garden tour and bring it back next year.

“This post-COVID year is just kind of weird with a lot of groups. It’s hard to get volunteers out and enthused and excited about doing stuff,” Grant said in an interview last week.

“We haven’t started securing gardens and it really should have been done last summer, last fall. And the current committee is just getting weary,” she said.

“I, as chair of the current committee, am way over-committed right now, and I just don’t have time to focus on getting a tour together. So that’s the honest reason,” Grant said.

“That sounds to the public, to the general community, like an excuse, I know that — and I don’t mean to be making excuses for myself or for the society.”

She said the committee will focus on other priorities this year, like its spring plant sale, taking care of the community and pollinator gardens on Niven Road, and getting the garden at the corner of William and Nassau streets looking “really nice this year.”

The tour has been operating for 30 years and Grant said it will continue.

“Last year was our 30th anniversary and we just decided we needed to take a break — and we need to find some new blood to come into the committee and resume next year with a bigger and better tour.”

She added that even if a bunch of volunteers come forward now, it’s too late to plan it for this summer. But extra help would be great for planning next year’s tour.

As far as her other commitments, Grant said Newark Neighbours especially is taking a lot of her time.

The community thrift shop and food bank secured a new location at 1534 Niagara Stone Rd. in Virgil and is in the process of moving from its old home at 310 John St. E., where it’s be for 30 years.

Construction at the new location started last Monday, she said.

“I’m really excited to say that construction on the interior has started,” Grant said, adding she thinks it will be done quickly.

“We’re anticipating being able to move in June, probably the middle to the end of June.”

Asked if she’s considered lightening her load and taking a step back from her many roles in the community, Grant burst into a sort of maniacal laugh.

“Yes, I am,” she said.

Newark Neighbours recently had its annual general meeting and she committed to stay on for another year, but “by spring next year, I’ll be stepping back from Newark Neighbours’ board,” Grant said.

Her time as chair of the Niagara North team is also finished in June. She said she’ll be staying on as past-chair, but “that isn’t as much work.”

She also plans to step back from her role as president of the NOTL Horticultural Society in November.

“So, the short answer is yes,” she said.

“I mean I’ll always stay involved to some extent, because that’s just what I do, and I get value and energy from from a lot of my volunteer work,” she added.

“But a lot of the leadership volunteer leadership positions that I’m in, I am going to start to step back from by the end of this year.”

Ultimately, though, she still plans to stay involved in the organizations in some capacity — just with a bit less responsibility.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said, with a chuckle.

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