Verdun’s beautification committee has organized several annual events designed to spruce the borough up in time for summer. Registration for garden and photo contests, sales of garden plants and sign-up for the green space clean-up began this week.
The annual green space and bike paths clean up and the tree, bush and compost pick up takes place on the first weekend in May.
“Canadian Tire is giving us boxes of flowers for the first 250 households who register for the garden contest,” says Karine Larrivée, who is in charge of committee activities.
Larrivée and her boss Normand Houle are the only borough members on an otherwise citizen-run committee that meets five times a year in addition to participating in all the events. Other members include Odette Harton, who is the president, Lucie Vaillancourt, Hélène Gamache, Walter Grandoni and Annie Toutiras. “These people all love Verdun,” said Larrivée. “Everything we do is to beautify the neighbourhood.”
Their most important activity is the 21st annual green space and bike paths clean-up, which takes place on the morning of Saturday May 5. Last year, the event attracted 600 people, 200 of whom cleaned up the shore of Nun’s Island, while the rest concentrated on the mainland and the bike path on the bridge.
“People usually come with their organizations or companies,” she said. “Last year, we had the Air Transat. This year, it’s the Yellow Pages on Nun’s Island.” [I participated for the last three years with SKIF-Montreal, which trains in Verdun.]
Citizens who purchase discounted plants from the community centres beginning this week will pick them up the following morning, May 6, at the Municipal Greenhouses, 7000 boulevard LaSalle, between 8:30 and 11 a.m. Larivée says that the committee added vines to the catalogue this year so that groups working to green their lanes can cover backyard fences.
Any Verdun citizen who brings a bag or bucket can also pick up some free compost from the St. Michel Environmental Complex at the same time. The Maison de l’Environnment, in Borough Hall, will be giving out compost the following weekend as well, says Larrivée.
Then in July, the embellishment committee will pre-select the boroughs most attractive gardens to be judged by author, broadcaster, publisher Julie Boudreau on July 18 and 19.
For more information, contact Verdun’s Direction de la culture, des sports, des loisirs et du développement social at 514 765-7150 or view the committee’s website at http://www.comite-embellissement.info. The site contains a list of all the activities, an on-line catalogue of the plants they’re selling, project outlines and a list of past and present committee members.
(Note: This article appeared in the Suburban City Edition, April 25, p 14.)