The Adopt a Park Program kicked off with a pilot study in June of 2021 and is now looking to expand.

The program itself sends volunteers to local parks to do maintenance and beautify the space for the community 

Donna McCallum the Operations Manager for The Town of Strathmore explains what goes into the process of beautification. 

“The Adopt a Park Program will bring volunteers of the community together to work as stewards in our local parks and green spaces. It provides opportunities for the volunteers to conduct light maintenance, and gardening activities in parks and green spaces. Volunteers do things like picking litter, pulling weeds, breaking up debris, cleanup of gravel around playgrounds and reporting vandalism.”

The program started as a simple pilot program consisting of five volunteers, the pilot focused on maintenance in three Strathmore parks in areas that were in dire need of some T.L.C. One of those areas was local park mulch beds which volunteers focused heavily on.

McCallum is also looking forward to seeing how this program affects the results of an upcoming Communities in Bloom competition

“It's a national competition in Canada and we're competing on the provincial level our judging date is August 4th. The town is judged on several criteria, such as a heritage aspect, neatness and tidiness. They look at our tree canopy, basically just the overall look of the town and then we get judged.”

This isn't the first time Community in Bloom has visited Strathmore, McCallum hopes that the Adopt a Park volunteers can make a difference this year.

“We did the competition about three or four years ago and we won five blooms. We weren't the winner, but we were certainly close. So this is where these volunteers could help us out this year and make sure we win those five blooms and then we can advertise the town as being a winner of the Communities in Bloom Competition.”

Community in Bloom is also a volunteer and community-driven program. Participants are given chances to engage in promotional opportunities and grants with the program's many partners. In addition, the program also offers all participants the chance to have their town and community showcased on the Community in Bloom website.

Volunteers looking to help out with the Adopt a Park Program can visit the Town of Strathmore's website and fill out the application form on the ‘Adopt a Park’ section of the website. 

McCallum states what volunteers can expect after joining.

“The first thing we do is we do an orientation, so we'll meet them out on-site and we'll do a safety orientation and then run them through the tasks that they can or cannot do. We discourage pruning trees, we like to leave that up to our park staff. Volunteers can do litter picking, they can do some shrub maintenance and report vandalism. We also get them to do things like edging beds as well raking it, sweeping the gravel back into the playground areas and raking up leaves and other debris that's in there.”

Expect to see volunteers this summer from the Adopt a Park Program in local parks as they grow and beautify Strathmore, and hopefully help the town get both an award and a new influx of visiting tourists. 

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