The Prescott Journal - June 11, 2003
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
Wow! Here we go again; who would have thunk it? But thanks to the foresight of Human Resources Development Canada Skills Link Program (HRDC-SLP), they are providing the means to put together a team of 10 eligible youth who will receive training from a diverse supervisory team: Deborah Smith, artistic director of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival; Sue Hiltz, horticulturist and entrepreneur; Janice Spencer, field and administrative assistant; and myself. And with the many supporters contributing time, supplies, donations or just encouragement, it couldn't have happened without all of you behind us.
Firstly, many thanks must go to The Prescott Journal for giving us weekly space for providing work-in-progress updates. It's also a way for us to seek input and assistance with projects. We are here to serve our community and to facilitate this process, we invite any group or organization that would like some assistance to fill in a contact form which is available from the town office.
Last year, our biggest problem was moving equipment/supplies and people around from location to location. Now, thanks to Gus Birnie of Riverside Pontiac-Buick Ltd., we won't have that problem again, for they are donating a van for our use for the entire six month duration of the program.
Probably, most gardeners start the season by weeding their gardens in the spring - when you can get in there between rain showers. Weeds are always the worst in newly made beds, just like at Churchill park. We started our weeding efforts there and will be putting down compost as mulch to keep weeds at bay. If done properly, this effort only needs to be repeated every second or third year (it also pays off when you get good quality, screened topsoil to begin with). A couple of years from now, shrubs and trees will begin to flourish and that helps keep the weeds down also.
Thanks to the neighbourhood volunteers who come out to help. The parks are for all of us to enjoy and to maintain tidiness. "Pulling weeds is very therapeutic", says Kerlyn Snelling who comes out when she can with her kids. "They play on the swings while I like to putter about doing some weeding".
Prescott Blossoms will continue to promote seeking donations for trees and shrubs at the Heritage River Trail Arboretum. These trees and shrubs meet the specifications as outlined in the plans donated by Parks Canada and tax receipts will be provided for amounts over $20. As a donor, you or your dedication will be acknowledged on a main public plaque. For more information please call the town office at 925-2812.
So much good stuff is happening this summer, as Prescott continues to blossom. I hope you'll stay tuned.