Missed it by that much!

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

If you mea­sure the ef­fec­tive­ness of a pro­ject on the pos­i­tive im­pact it’s had in a com­mu­nity rather than on the num­ber of flow­ers it has earned, then there’s no doubt that Stanstead’s pro­ject to beau­tify the town enough to earn a fourth flower from Fleu­rons Que­bec was an un­qual­i­fied suc­cess, de­spite miss­ing out on that fourth bloom by only a few points. The town was no­tice­ably more at­trac­tive through­out the sum­mer and the four pro­ject par­tic­i­pants have moved on to ei­ther new jobs or re­turn­ing to school.

“We are not dis­cour­aged by the re­sult; it’s very en­cour­ag­ing and we know what to do to im­prove. A ma­jor­ity of mu­nic­i­pali- ties with four ‘fleu­rons’ have a team of hor­ti­cul­tur­ists work­ing full time for their mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We only have one per­son part time. So if you take that fac­tor into ac­count, we are re­ally good in Stanstead. We were lucky enough to have Ni­cole Doyon, our re­tired hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, draw­ing plans for us as a vol­un­teer this sum­mer and the pro­ject par­tic­i­pants were su­perb; they also took care of all the ex­ist­ing flower beds and parks and painted the garbage bins and flower boxes in town!” com­mented pro­ject co­or­di­na­tor, Marise Trepanier.

With a bud­get of $2000 for the new beds (ex­cept for the beds at the cor­ner of Duf­ferin and Rail­road which was part of a dif­fer­ent pro­ject) $700 in plants was bought at the gar­den busi­ness in Beebe; a lot of mulch and paint was bought at Rona, in Beebe, and gi­ant planters for the down­town area were bought at Hol­land Gar­dens, in Ayer’s Cliff. Some steel urns and tools were bought at Cana­dian Tire. “I think we did our part to en­cour­age lo­cal busi­ness. We were able to cut cor­ners with peren­ni­als that Ni­cole and I were able to di­vide from our own gar­dens to save money,” said Ms. Trepanier.

“Out of the four pro­ject par­tic­i­pants, two are back to school, one has been hired and the fourth one is cur­rently seek­ing a job. I am so proud of what they did for the com­mu­nity, proud of their achieve­ments, proud of ev­ery­thing they learned dur­ing the process. They beau­ti­fied Stanstead through­out the sum­mer and we had a lot of fun work­ing at it to­gether as a team. I en­joyed get­ting to know each one of them,” she added.

Ear­lier in Septem­ber, the Stanstead gar­den­ing team, along with Ms. Trepanier and Stanstead mayor Philippe Du­til, at­tended the Fleu­rons Que­bec gala to find out if the town had earned its fourth flower, a highly cov­eted clas­si­fi­ca­tion. At the town’s last eval­u­a­tion three years ago, it was at 550 points, need­ing another 150 points to get that fourth flower. Eval­u­a­tors from the Fleu­rons Que­bec or­ga­ni­za­tion came back to Stanstead in Au­gust, go­ing up and down ev­ery street, tak­ing note of the qual­ity and quan­tity of flower beds and gar­dens in the Three Vil­lages.

The team was not too dis­cour­aged by the re­sults. “We man­aged to get 684 points! Six­teen points away from a fourth fleu­ron! That is great news!”

The points were di­vided into five cat­e­gories: Mu­nic­i­pal land, 229 out of 340; In­sti­tu­tional, 124 out of 180; Res­i­den­tial, 129 out of 230 (not much im­prove­ment from last eval­u­a­tion); Com­mer­cial, 36 out of 90; and In­dus­trial, 30 out of 50. The most points came in the Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tive and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment bracket where the town earned 136 out of 160 pos­si­ble points!

“So we know where we have to work in the next two years to get the 4th fleu­ron: we have to get the com­merce and in­dus­tries in­volved. Rock of Ages, Granit De­sign, Familiprix, IGA and the Vieille Douane have been men­tioned as ex­am­ples to fol­low. We also have to fo­cus on res­i­den­tial. The Em­bel­lish­ment com­mit­tee will have to ac­tively work on get­ting res­i­dents to flower their prop­er­ties,” com­mented Ms. Trepanier.

“The Mayor and I would like to thank the com­mit­tee that be­lieved in my crazy pro­ject: Mylène from the CAB, Josée Fortin from the CSSS Mem­phrem­a­gog, and Veronique Boutin –Gau­vin from Car­refour Je­unesse em­ploi that or­ga­nized it all and made it all pos­si­ble. We would also like to thank Mar­garita Betancur, the co­or­di­na­tor. She was a pre­cious part of the pro­ject,” she con­cluded.

Photo cour­tesy

Seen here at the Montreal Botan­i­cal Gar­dens was Stanstead’s gar­den­ing team: (left to right) Marise Trepanier, pro­ject co­or­di­na­tor, Megan Sisco, Vic­to­ria El­liott-Roy, Mar­garita Betancur, Carol Hud­son, Ran­dall Reynolds and mayor Philippe Du­til.

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