There’s every chance I’ve been covering city hall for so long, I’ve become an absolute cynic about the way things work on Elgin Street.
So when I heard a group of volunteers had gotten quick permission from the city to clean up the land around some of Barrhaven’s roundabouts and plant brightly-coloured flowers – well – yes, I was gobsmacked.
A common sense idea that helps residents; and the city is allowing it to go ahead without any bureaucratic nightmare and at no cost to taxpayers or the city?
No bureaucracy, no hurdles to cross, no paperwork to fill in? This really must be a Brave New Barrhaven World!
The Stonebridge resident who came up with the idea is Peter Howroyd and threw the concept out to a Barrhaven gardening site on Facebook.
And he quickly got residents praising the idea and many wanting to pitch in. A new Facebook page has since been created called The Wild Gardeners (love that name) where people have been offering everything from their time to plants and seeds. It’s hoped that flowers will start going in this month now that the city has finally gotten some rain.
Howroyd is quick to point that while he’s acting as the spokesperson right now, it’s been a collaborative effort with many pitching in.
Along with the weeding and plant trimming, the spot needed some new soil.
Credit there once again goes to Kelly Ross, the owner of Your Independent Grocer in Barrhaven, who donated the soil for the project.
Seems she’s always there for the community, as her late husband Ken always was.
“She’s super nice, very community oriented,” said Howroyd. Absolutely.
The first spot being done is the land around the roundabout at Cambrian and Longfields. If it’s successful, a couple of other Barrhaven roundabouts should get the same treatment. And Howroyd can’t help but hope the idea spreads throughout other parts of the city with other volunteers getting involved.
Goodness knows, one of the expressions I hate the most is a win-win situation. But I guess it’s overused because it often really fits. And this seems like one of those cases. Area residents get to have something more visually appealing, the community is pulled together – and the city will no longer have to attempt to maintain the spot.