Neat award!

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL MACEACHERN

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

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