The Prescott Journal - August 27, 2003
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
For results of Prescott's first (unofficial) Community in Blooms Garden Contest, stay tuned to next week's column.
A call for help went out and we were glad to assist, despite the blaring heat at the site of the new Skateboard Park near the RCA ball diamond. Skateboard park organizer, Nancy Lane explains, "tying rebar is a tedious job and with all the Blossoms helping out, along with the many other volunteers, including the skateboarders themselves, we are saving as much as $1,000.00". The hard drive of leaders like Nancy Lane makes community projects successful.
The need for more shade was certainly obvious this week and so we will be looking at planting a selection of trees and shrubs through the Trees for Peace project. This project is coordinated through the Grenville Land and Stewardship Council and I'm hoping our community will benefit from a major native tree and shrub planting campaign starting this fall. If you have any suggestions for large planting sites available, please email me at email@example.com. If you are a private landowner, especially with water frontage, you can contact Chris Bellemore at the GLSC office 342-8538 directly.
A while back, Prescott was submitted in the TVO competition "Greenest Town in Ontario". They announced the winner a few weeks ago on Studio 2, TVO's evening news magazine show. The prize was a documentary on each town that won - it was a tie between Orillia and Kaledon with Waterloo being the runner-up. Perth won it last year. Prescott got mentioned at the end of the program, which aired again last week.
What struck me most about the winners is how integrated each department, community organizations and citizens were with respect to environmental policies and practices. Notably, very creative recycling programs, preservation of natural heritage, and the restoration of majestic native wooded areas.
While Prescott is much smaller, we certainly have begun work in these areas. I feel it's only a beginning but it is great to have recognition, which inspires creativity and community cohesiveness.
Even more wonderful, Prescott Blossoms has been nominated for the Urban Habitat Stewardship Award from Wildlife Habitat Canada. The attention comes from the holistic approach taken at the Prescott Heritage River Trail. Emphasizing the usefulness and beauty of the native species promotes the opportunity to educate people against the use of herbicides and pesticides. Plants are stronger and able to withstand the harsh climate here and promote the support of wildlife, demonstrating that everything in nature is useful and dependant on each other - that being selective starts a chain reaction with negative results not realized until it's often too late. A balanced ecosystem attracts beneficial insects, more varieties of birds and other wildlife. Winners of this prestigious award will be announced in the winter of this year. You can see more on their website at www.whc.org.
With the municipal building renovation nearing completion, it's time to consider what kind of landscaping should be done for the front, which will include installation of wheelchair ramps. Cost, of course is the major issue and so how to get the "most from the least"? This is precisely where Prescott Blossoms should and could be involved. So, I will be presenting a simple heritage garden plan to council at the Sept. 8 meeting. Come out and show your support, otherwise, very little may be done indeed.