A win-win story in the time of COVID-19

 In Community

Sometimes a simple question, “Can you help?” is all it takes to create a big opportunity.
Clearview Township Mayor Doug Measures reached out to Creemore Horticultural Society President Judi Parker to see if The Creemore Horticultural Society could do anything to help the residents at Creedan Valley Care Community in the challenging days of COVID-19 lock-downs.
Discussions between Creedan Valley’s executive director, Chantal Carriere, and Judi refined the broad question to a very specific request: would members of the CHS be interested in volunteering a few hours to clean up Creedan Valley’s gardens?
The Horticultural Society rarely provides volunteers to for-profit enterprises. (Creedan Valley is part of Sienna Senior Living, a private corporation.) However, given the immense strain of the pandemic on Creedan Valley staff and residents, and the fact that the residents are part of our Creemore community, Judi and the Hort’s board of directors felt an exception was warranted.
The request to the Hort members was straightforward: Who wants to help tidy up the front gardens. How difficult could that be?
Almost immediately, a small but mighty team was on board, coordinated by member Barbara Mann. The team initially met at the site in late June to assess the project. What they saw was a garden that had not been properly tended for a very long time. Beyond massive weeding, the gardens needed a major restoration. Undaunted by the challenge, the team, literally, dug in.
Weeds were pulled, plants were thinned, plants were relocated, shrubs were pruned. And did I mention weeds were pulled? So. Many. Weeds. Three months (and many volunteer hours) later, the project is finished, and the gardens put to bed under a cover of mulch.
“Words leave me as I express our great gratitude to the kind generous volunteers who devoted their time, energies, and vision to make our front entrance garden looks amazing,” said Carriere. “The residents, families, and staff have all noted how beautiful our front entrance garden looks and everyone now enjoys their time outside. We appreciate everything you have done for our Care Community.”
The words of the participating volunteers add to the story: “It was such a pleasure to be part of this project.” and “A very satisfying project by every measure.”
On behalf of the Hort, Judi adds, “It is very gratifying to know that our gardening skills and knowledge enable the Hort to respond when the community asks for support in time of need.”

Prepared by Christine March and Judi Parker, on behalf of the Creemore Horticultural Society.

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