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Greenspace project earns award of excellence

CHEERS! to the Prince Edward County Community Greenspace project – Picton Shire Hall Parkette – for receiving a Community Award of Excellence award from Communities in Bloom, a non-profit Canadian organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of a friendly competition.
In a submission to the competition, the project was described:
“In 2006 (and until 2009) an old derelict building was demolished and the lot sat empty, beside our City Hall.  A nightmare of a possible parking lot, prompted the PEC Community Greenspace Group to propose to Council, to build a park, at no cost to the Municipality and it was approved.
With much local business support (dollars and in-kind services) private resident, and BIA support, the park is now a reality.
A fabulous fund raiser, “The Green Gala” included garden, floral and patio displays.  Guests were educated and entertained “CBC Debaters” style, by five provincial and local horticultural experts including, Mark Cullen, Denis Flanagan and Stephen Poole.  A fabulous evening of  local food and wine rounded out the event and raised funds for the park.
Grade 4 students from a local Picton school planted lantana plants at a spring garden show, took them back to school, cared for them and returned them to the park.
With community and local landscape company’s help , our park is now “blooming” with a fabulous gazebo, celebrating our United Empire Loyalist history, with a flag designed into the gazebo by local designer Scott Wentworth.
Autumn blaze maples, blue spruce and hardy plant material are now flourishing.  Benches, picnic tables and a bike rack complete the wheelchair accessible picture.  Our residents and our many tourists are enjoying this oasis of green in our Town of Picton.”
Communities in Bloom national beautification programs have flourished in Europe, including England, France and Ireland, for decades, and were the inspiration for Communities in Bloom. It began in 1995 with 29 Canadian communities and has grown to involve more than 800 communities.
Communities in Bloom promotes involvement and action by citizens of all ages, the municipal government, local organizations and businesses. The program strives to improve the tidiness, appearance and visual appeal of Canada’s neighbourhoods, parks, open spaces and streets through the imaginative use of flowers, plants and trees. A focus on environmental awareness and preservation of heritage and culture is also an integral part of its success resulting in an improved quality of life.
This volunteer-based, non-profit organization is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of national competition. Participation is encouraged from any corporation, business, group, society, organization or community. Some examples include: BIAs, Chambers of Commerce, Horticultural societies, 4H Clubs, Seniors Groups, Youth Groups, Rotary, Kinsmen, Lions, Individual Businesses and industries.

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The park beside Shire Hall is sheer beauty now that the Greenspace Project has teamed up with students from Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton. Grades 3 and 4 students, along with teacher Julie Hymus, were at the park last week planting and watering plants they had cared for since they received them as seedlings during a visit to the PEC Green Gala fundraising event in March. Meanwhile, the Greenspace Project is taking shape with  work on the gazebo, bench and walkways by the Scott Wentworth Landscape Group and Terra Vista. (Note the Loyalist flag design on the bench and roof). The Green Gala, notes organizer Pat Dubyk, raised a goodly amount of funds, but more help is needed for completion of the project. Call Pat at 962-1792 or email pecgreenspace@gmail.com  An official opening is to be scheduled for June.

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