Volunteers needed for annual Mile of Flowers planting project

May 29 the date for this year’s community plant-in

Bring out family, friends, or your club and join the biggest planting event in Courtenay.

The Mile of Flowers is marking 51 years of Cliffe Avenue boulevards with colourful blooms on Tuesday, May 29.

The Plant-in starts at 5 p.m. and goes until approximately 7:30 p.m. Volunteers from the community are invited to fill the garden beds on both sides of Cliffe Avenue (from Eighth to 21st Streets) with summer flowers. The City of Courtenay provides all the flowers. Participants are asked to bring garden gloves and a trowel or spoon for digging. Approximately 400 volunteers are needed on this special evening.

Youth groups are also encouraged to attend, with a chance to win a party rental at the Courtenay Outdoor Pool.

Tyler Johns, the City’s horticultural supervisor, said the plant-in has many benefits.

“It’s great to see so many community members and organizations come together for this event,” noted Johns. “It’s an event that people come back to year after year.”

As in previous years, Courtenay Rotary and the City of Courtenay will host an appreciation barbecue for volunteer planters in Standard Park.

The Mile of Flowers is a tradition dating back to 1967, when Kathleen Kirk set out to commemorate Canada’s centennial year. That year she planted 7,800 seedlings as a welcome to tourists. What began as the initiative of one woman now involves hundreds of volunteers and around 30,000 flowers.

Did you know that aside from looking great every year, the Mile of Flowers is also now designed to use less water? City Parks crews add compost, mulch and new soil to improve water retention. A large proportion of the flower beds have been converted to water-efficient drip-irrigation. Some of the beds also are looking great year-round since changing over to water-wise perennial blooms and shrubs.

The City of Courtenay sends heartfelt thanks to all the community volunteers who have helped beautify our community for so many years.

For more information, please contact City of Courtenay at 250-334-4441, email info@courtenay.ca or visit www.courtenay.ca/mileofflowers