Some Conception Bay towns are among the tidiest in the province. They cleaned up at the awards ceremony held during the Municipalities NL convention last week.
Three Conception Bay towns are celebrating this week after being named winners in the provincial Tidy Towns competition.
Salmon Cove and Bay Roberts were named winners in their respective population categories (601-900 for Salmon Cove and Bay Roberts in the over 3,500 category, which it shared with Clarenville), while Cupids was singled out for a criteria award, recognized for its “natural and heritage preservation.”
The town didn’t have anyone at the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador convention in Gander on Nov. 5, when the awards were announced, so Victoria Mayor Art Burke accepted the award on Salmon Cove’s behalf.
Councillors Carol Rose and Edna Lambert took the judges on a tour of Salmon Cove, she said.
Rose, the chairwoman of the Tidy Towns committee, said everyone in town is thrilled by the award.
“ They’re delighted! I’d say I was tickled pink,” she said. “ We worked a bit hard-like on that this year, and it paid off.”
Rose said the town sent letters to Salmon’s Cove residents asking them to clean up their properties. The town also put in a new playground, removed abandoned vehicles and concentrated on floral displays. She said participation from everyone was key to the win.
“All the councillors seemed to be more involved this year, and the residents,” she said, adding a local rock group formed from the Christian boys’ club took garbage bags around the community to clean up litter. “Anything at all to contribute to the town helped,” she said, adding that Salmon Cove is going to enter again to defend its title. “ We’re going to work another bit harder again next year!”
In Bay Roberts, coun. Walter Yetman says they were surprised but not shocked to win. “ We knew we had a lot going for us. I thought we were going to be in the running,” he said. “It was a pleasant surprise, but not a shock because we knew we had a lot to offer and we knew we’d done well.” He said the town has put in a lot of effort to become more environmentally conscious and improve the town’s overall look. Improvements were made to the town’s playgrounds, for example, and the town’s green committee works with - among other programs - the Coley’s Point primary school composting program and Amalgamated Academy’s recycling program.
Deputy mayor Philip Wood called the win a “credit to the community and its residents.” In fact, Bay Roberts scored highest on “community involvement” than it did on any of the other criteria, and says the push to make beautification a town-wide effort is key to the award.
“ We have flowers we put around, shrubbery,” he said. “ You go into the community gardens, and it’s beautiful.”
Yetman says all facets of town administration are involved in keeping the town tidy, down to bylaw enforcement making sure residents are complying with town regulations.
Coun. Clarence Mercer said the Tidy Towns judges were especially impressed with a beautification project undertaken by resident Irving Seymour of Butlerville. A mason by trade, Seymour built a park-like setting, featuring a pond and waterfall, across the road from his house. “ We have a lot of community pride here,” he said. “It’s people taking pride not only in their own properties but the areas adjacent to their properties.”
Seymour said he wanted it to look like a miniature pond. “I walled it around and then I walled the other side. Then I put some flat stone, like a landing area,” he explained, also crediting council with helping him get a bench for a seating area.
There have been a number of Bay Roberts projects that have come on-stream in the past year that help build community spirit, says Wood, including Doors Open, a program modelled on a popular Scottish program that encourages residents to visit local public and heritage sites and buildings. Doors Open, which runs in various towns across Newfoundland, ran for the first time this past summer in Bay Roberts, with the town opening up public buildings with hopes to expand it to local heritage sites in future years.
Wood also credited town workers for the win. “One other thing that should be mentioned is we owe a lot to our staff, our summer staff, outside workers and so on, who continuously look after these sites,
From left, Bay Roberts Coun. Walter Yetman, deputy mayor Philip Wood and Coun. Clarence Mercer display the town’s Tidy Towns award.
Daniel MacEachern/The Compass
Salmon Cove Mayor Roy Rose, left, accepts the town’s Tidy Towns award from Victoria Mayor Arthur Burke, who accepted the award on Salmon Cove’s behalf at a convention in Gander Nov. 5.
Photo courtesy of Salmon Cove