Friends of the Village plan for busy year - Spring Home and Garden 2017
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BY DENNY SCOTT
Blyth’s Friends of the Village gardening group has put its first year of maintaining Blyth’s green spaces behind it and liaison Lissa Kolkman said the group has created plenty of memorable moments, but with many more to come as well.
One of the group’s greatest achievements, Kolkman said, is the bloom ceremony that will be held on May 14 at Blyth Horticultural Park to mark the blooming of the Canada 150th Celebration Garden.
The bulbs for the garden were distributed by the Canadian Garden Council and the group had to submit an application explaining why the group wanted one of the 150 gardens available through the program.
The garden will include 1,000 tulip bulbs, 500 white and 500 red, donated by Vesey’s Bulbs in Prince Edward Island.
Kolkman, in a previous interview with The Citizen regarding the event, said she had focused on the historical aspect of the village and also highlighted the accessibility of the garden to convince the judges in the program. Kolkman also pointed to Huron’s agriculturally-rich area and the fact that there are many residents of Dutch heritage who are also marking a milestone this year.
The special ceremony for the garden will include guest speakers and Kolkman invites anyone out who wants to be involved with the event.
“We have someone coming out who remembers the history of the cairn that is in the park to share that,” she said. “It’s on Mother’s Day, and we wanted it to be a small, quick outing for families to take part in. There will be tea and it should be a fun day.”
Being chosen as one of the communities to host a garden is one of the most visible achievements the organization has managed, Kolkman said, but it’s certainly not the last project for the Friends of the Village.
“We have some ongoing work,” she said. “We’re currently looking for a landscape designer to work with the horticultural park and consider upgrades there. It’s in the works. We just need to visualize the plan.”
The group will also be involved with the Spring on the Trail event on May 13.
Hosted with the Goderich to Guelph Rail (G2G) Trail organization, the event will feature nordic pole walking at 10 a.m., a game of manhunt at 1 p.m. and a bike tour of Blyth at 3 p.m. Participants are also invited to take part in any activity they wish on the trail that day.
Pole walking will start near the memory garden. Manhunt will also be held near the gazebo on the trail.
Kolkman said the success of the organization is tied to the fact that it can always find people who are willing to help.
“If we need a talent, someone steps up,” she said. “We work well together, and people are always willing to share what they know to make things work. Sometimes the knowledge and technique doesn’t even come from the group but from those outside it.”
Kolkman said that being a member of the group can mean being there with the committee to make sure events happen or just helping out when necessary.
“We’ll welcome anyone who wants to help out,” she said. “They just need to get in touch with us and we will have some way they can help.”
Recently, the organization held its clean-up day where several members worked together to clean spaces throughout the village as well as the Greenway Trail, part of the recently formed Goderich to Guelph (G2G) Rail Trail.
“There wasn’t a lot of cleaning to do, actually,” Kolkman said in an interview with The Citizen. “Other community groups have gone through and helped out which really shows that the work we do is appreciated not just by the group.”
Spaces the organization are responsible for include the Horticultural Park on Dinsley Street, the Greenway Trail, the southerly and northerly Blyth sign installations, the Anglican Cemetery located near the North Huron water treatment facility and the Blyth Union Cemetery.
A sub-committee of the group is also responsible for the Blyth Memory Garden, which is along the Greenway Trail. The group has also started making recommendations as to green spaces around the Blyth and District Community Centre and the adjacent camp ground.
Kolkman said this year the group has come together to help support Blyth’s 140th committee and to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada.
“We’re having a raffle to mark Canada’s 150th as a fundraiser for the group,” she said. “We have a quilt marking the 150th as well as a stained glass piece that will be raffled off.”
Tickets are available at local businesses like the Queens Bakery, Spa Essentials and Stitches with a Twist, Kolkman said, and the draw will be held on July 30 as part of the Blyth 140th celebrations.
Some time this month the items being raffled off will be put on display at the former home of Sharon’s Cars and Miniatures on Blyth’s main street across from Blyth Community Memorial Hall.
The group also is selling the Belle of Blyth, specially selected lilies designed to represent the village. The lilies were produced by local lily breeder Mike Falconer who also produced a special lily for the 2017 International Plowing Match to be held near Walton and the East Wawanosh Anniversary this summer.
For more information about the lily sales or about the activities of the club in general, visit the Friends of the Village on Facebook.
For more details on the Spring on the Trail event, contact Laura Edgar at 519-505-6582 or firstname.lastname@example.org