Board­walk gar­dens need early main­te­nance

Cape Breton Post - - Editorial -

In mid-June 2016, I con­tacted CBRM’s Parks and Grounds Main­te­nance and Devel­op­ment to ex­press my con­cern about the lack of cul­ti­va­tion of the gar­dens along the board­walk.

Staff as­sured me that when school let out, stu­dent work­ers would be on site and work would catch up.

No force in the uni­verse can de­ter Cape Bre­ton weeds un­til the end of June. Catch­ing up didn’t hap­pen.

In the mean­time, killer dan­de­lions, this­tles, multi-ten­ta­cled pur­ple vetch and Queen Anne’s Lace (as lovely as the lat­ter is in the right place) flour­ished and suc­ceeded in stran­gling what had been, I thought then, a bed of roses and Hy­drangea sit­u­ated be­hind Cam­bridge Suites in down­town Syd­ney.

By late sum­mer, it was im­pos­si­ble to iden­tify the orig­i­nal plant­ings at this site.

Even­tu­ally, sim­i­lar dis­ar­ray ex­isted be­hind the band­stand be­tween the ho­tel and the Civic Cen­tre en­trance to the board­walk.

Work, when it be­gan near the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pavil­ion, re­flected the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of which CBRM Parks and Grounds staff is ca­pa­ble. But the late start pre­cluded any timely fin­ish.

Al­ready this year, gar­dens be­hind the Civic Cen­tre, Vista Heights and Hol­i­day Inn need weed­ing, prun­ing and mulching. Sev­eral dozen rose beds be­tween Cam­bridge Suites and the play­ground at the far end of the board­walk ap­pear never to have been cul­ti­vated. This is in con­trast to the play­ground park plant­ings, which re­flect ex­cel­lence of care and at­ten­tion.

Cape Bre­ton Is­land is a tourist des­ti­na­tion. Our world-class rep­u­ta­tion pre­cedes us. Ci­ta­tions in pres­ti­gious sur­veys and pub­li­ca­tions abound and are on public record: world-class golf cour­ses; world-class driv­ing and bik­ing on the Cabot Trail; world­class his­tor­i­cal sites (Louis­bourg, Bell Mu­seum); mu­sic; and hos­pi­tal­ity.

This sea­son, the Port of Syd­ney ex­pects to wel­come 90 cruise ships. Peo­ple from all over the world, hav­ing been ‘primed’ by all of the above, will be ex­pect­ing a su­pe­rior ex­pe­ri­ence. Among the first things they’ll see when they dis­em­bark will be the im­me­di­ate en­vi­rons.

I do hope the board­walk and its gar­dens will re­flect our ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion for beauty and ex­cel­lence. Char­lotte Mu­sial Syd­ney

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