Sunday 15 June 2014

Hanging Baskets and Planters on Bolton Street

This is a letter that was written in September 2011 to many key players in the City of Kawartha Lakes as well as members of the Trent Severn Waterway and lastly, key figures in Bobcaygeon. It explains our decision about discontinuing our management of the hanging baskets and planters in the downtown core.

To Whom It May Concern:
The Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society regrets having to advise you that it will no longer be able to undertake planting initiatives, specifically the seasonal hanging baskets and planter boxes located throughout the Village.This decision has been particularly difficult given the pride our membership has derived over the many years of enhancing our Village streetscape.

The Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society is honoured to support the beautification of Bobcaygeon since 1922. Over the past 90 years,our Society has been creating flower gardens on public and private property to enhance the Village for visitors and local citizens.

The beautification of the downtown core of the Village,specifically the seasonal hanging baskets and planter boxes started out as a partnership amongst the commercial retailers,Restore the Core 2000,The Chamber of Commerce,local and federal governments and the Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society.This successful partnership ensured that the downtown core,Swing Bridge and other focal points in Bobcaygeon had the colour and beauty that our visitors and local citizens came to expect during the growing season.

Over the course of the last several years,the Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society has become the sole proponent of these planting initiatives with monies coming from grant applications,local government funding and the Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society. In some years these plantings amounted to a total cost of over
$20 000(including watering and fertilizing)

The reality of this decision to terminate our involvement in the hanging baskets and planters is unfortunately a consequence of the Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society no longer having an assured funding mechanism to manage the program. In addition and of equal importance is our lack of sufficient volunteer manpower to undertake the arduous physical labour in transporting,installing,and removing flower baskets and planters on an annual basis.

Unfortunately,current economic trends have been challenging for many community-based organizations as diminished funding allocations from various public agencies has threatened the ongoing projects of various not-for-profit groups.

While this decision was difficult and only determined after prolonged deliberation,the Society must recognize that we have been providing a unique service to the Village for many years. In fact, after contacting other horticultural societies within the City of Kawartha Lakes and beyond to ask if they were providing the hanging baskests and planter box plantings for their repective towns,cities and villages we found that no other horticultural society does this. In all cases, the commercial business and municipal government control the beautifying component(hanging baskets and planter boxes).

The Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society wants you to know that we will continue to participate in the beautification of the Village by:

a) Maintaining garden beds on the Trent-Severn Lock 32 property,the Need Street intersection,Shea Park,Rokeby Market Square,The Social Service Centre,The Legion and Cenotaph,
b) Working in conjunction with both government and private industry to establish new gardens, where possible, and
c) Continuing a pro-active role:
i) promoting the protection of the environment,
ii) encouraging the planting of trees,shrubs and flowers on public and private grounds,
iii)stimulating an interest in the study of horticulture, and
iv) providing meetings for members to share camaraderie, education, and horticultural information.

Perhaps the revitalization of Bolton Street that commences this Fall makes this an opportune time to review and re-think the future of the Village beautification requirements and how best to support them.It is our sincere hope that those who planned the new look for Bolton Street, will endeavour to determine the wants and needs of Village beautification in a broader context;one which embraces Main Street, King Street and possibly other key neighborhood locations.

Should some other organizations wish to play a lead role in managing the hanging baskets and planters program the Bobcaygeon & District Society would welcome the opportunity to share our experience,knowledge and planting expertise.

Should the Society`s input be required please contact me.

Yours Sincerely
Joyce Bryon, President
Bobcaygeon & District Horticultural Society

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