These volunteers from Eston are a hard-working committee of 9 people that has earned the community 6 provincial Communities in Bloom titles in their 20 year involvement in the program. Two of their members have been involved with the committee, since its foundation in 1999 and their oldest member is an inspiring 91 years young!
“I joined the Communities in Bloom Committee for the fun! I love to be outside, and love gardening and all that comes with it, including a cleanup around town” said volunteer, Shari Collinge, “there is a personal pleasure that comes with beautifying a flower bed, removing last year's growth or picking up garbage, to help make our town a neat and pretty place.”
This committee sparked a transformation. They formed at a time when community morale was at an all-time low. The economy was poor; they had been enduring a drought for several years, and things were bleak. One small project at a time, one year at a time, residents began to buy into their belief that a well-cared for and welcoming community is a successful community.
“I joined the Communities in Bloom Committee for the fun! I love to be outside.
- Shari Collinge, Volunteer, Eston Communities in Bloom
From a yard and business recognition program to engaging residents and school students in the planning and development of a community orchard, they work to beautify Eston and encourage others to do the same. One of their greatest accomplishments was the development of Centennial Park in 2016. This welcoming pocket park is at the heart of the community. It took fundraising, lots of time, commitment and labor to create this gathering place which the Committee describes it as a labor of love.
But whether the project is large or small, volunteer Val Moran “can easily see the difference they make. I love the work we do and I enjoy taking pride in our accomplishments and the joy others get from it.”
These volunteers have not only beautified Eston, they have enhanced community pride and are catalysts for community engagement.
National Volunteer Week is the perfect opportunity to say thank you for your time and commitment to your community!