Heritage & Beautification Project Gets Going in Greenbelt!
City Donates Planters, Landowner Donates Rare Garry Oak Trees
CEDAR – With Canada’s 150th celebrations in mind the rural communities between Ladysmith and Nanaimo are getting ready to roll up their sleeves. “We have the City of Nanaimo donating 18 planters this Thursday,” said Laurie Gourlay, one of the organizers of the Heritage and Beautification project. “…which the local Wheat Sheaf pub will be caretaking for us …until we can talk with neighbours and friends in our communities about where they should go.”
The first of three public meetings over the next few months is planned for the evening of April 22nd at the Cedar Heritage Centre, 1644 MacMillan Road. The Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society has organized the meeting, and has been spearheading the project while a local committee gets established.
“Local landowners, Wade and Leah Pile, have also donated rare Garry Oaks trees, 3-4 years old,” Gourlay adds, “And we have volunteers going out to dig up as many as 200 of these young Garry Oak trees this Friday and Saturday, for planting throughout our rolling countryside and river lands.” The Regional District of Nanaimo has also written a support letter, which notes how the project will complement the area’s Official Community Plan as well as the recent Cedar Village design workshop.
“We’ve sent invitations around to residents and organizations, and we’re delivering letters to local businesses,” says Gourlay, the president of VICCS. “We want everyone to feel welcome, to get involved in 2017 events and plans, and to give us their ideas on how we’ll celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.”
The rural neighbourhoods and greenbelt of Cedar, Yellowpoint, Cassidy and South Wellington are taking on the ‘Heritage and Beautification’ project as a way to remember the rich past and heritage the communities share, as well as to celebrate their future. “We’re hoping to bring benches and artworks and pocket gardens to the roadsides and corners of our communities,” Gourlay states, “to help create friendly, beautiful and leisurely places for people to sit and gather, little spaces that everyone can enjoy.”
With a long history of settlement by First Nations as well as coal mining, farming and forestry, these coastal and river communities share a landscape and past that captures the Canadian spirit. Says Gourlay, “the ‘Heritage and Beautification’ project hopes to reflect the strength and determination that exemplifies the long and proud history of our rural past and small town beginnings.”
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For more information:
Laurie Gourlay, President, VICCS