The Mile of Flowers marks 53 years of planting Cliffe Avenue on Tuesday, May 28.

Volunteers needed for community planting event

Come out and join the biggest planting party in Courtenay. The Mile of Flowers is marking 53 years of planting Cliffe Avenue boulevards with colorful blooms on Tuesday, May 28.

The plant-in starts at 5 p.m. and goes until around 7:30 p.m. Volunteers are invited to fill the garden beds on both sides of Cliffe, from 8th 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 summer party rental at the Courtenay Outdoor Pool.

Tyler Johns, the City’s horticultural supervisor, said the event has many benefits.

“It’s fabulous to see so many community members and organizations out planting together for this event,” said Johns. “It’s a fun event that people come back to year after year.”

As in previous years, Courtenay Rotary and the City 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 designed to use less water? City park 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 sends heartfelt thanks to all the community volunteers, clubs and organizations that have helped beautify the community for so many years.

FMI: phone (250) 334-4441, email info@courtenay.ca or visit www.courtenay.ca/mileofflowers

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