The Riverside Beautification Project was a resounding success!
All of the objectives of the project were met:
Several gardens were planted including a “Kitchen garden”, “flower beds and hanging baskets” and a “Welcome/Entrance” garden.
The Kitchen garden was planted with a variety of perennial and annual herbs, vegetables, and flowers, including giant sunflowers; tomatoes, lettuce, chives, Greek oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, nasturtiums, echinacea, calendula, tarragon, coriander, and rosemary. Community members took advantage of the garden and harvested herbs and veggies to eat. The Community Kitchens group dried several varieties of herbs. Many visitors and community members commented on how beautiful the garden looked. Previously, this space was a patch of empty dirt overgrown with weeds.
The flower beds and hanging baskets were planted with a variety of annuals that gave a splendid display of colour and beautified the entrance to the community hall. Previously the flower beds had gone empty and the entrance was devoid of any aesthetics.
The Welcome/Entrance garden was a larger area that had been very abused with much vehicular traffic and no care. In the spring, the area was cordoned off with snow fence to prevent vehicles driving on it, and then covered with tarps to kill the weeds in preparation for planting. Fall planting included over 10 different hardy, drought resistant shrubs and perennials, as well as a variety of bulbs: Spirea, Mock Orange, Rudbeckia, Asters, Gaillardia, Purple Sedum, Daffodils,
Tulips, and Narcissus. A local community member donated split rails to be installed next year as a fence for a pleasing aesthetic and to surround and protect the area.
It gave the community and participants in the project a sense of pride and accomplishment to turn these unused areas into ones of beauty and abundance. Visitors and community members commented on how beautiful the gardens looked. Community members came together to plant, water, and weed, and neighbours who would not otherwise have known one another became friends.
A large donation of topsoil was made by Black Diamond soil in Grindrod and while many of the plants were purchased, several were donated, particularly to the kitchen garden.
The Beautification project will continue on and the kitchen garden and flower beds will be replanted in the spring. Next year, the Riverside Community Club will install a sign and the split rails. The Riverside Community Club has committed $500 for the continuation of the project.
We are so very grateful to the Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan. Without it, this project would never have happened.
Project Leader: Jean Hauta