Dunnville Horticulture Society

Dunnville’s Floral Clock

Dunnville's Floral Clock

“New storyboard commemorates Dunnville’s Floral Clock.  Built in 1957, the Clock had not kept time since 2013. The internal workings were removed and inspected as to repairs. It was deemed replacement was the only option.

Following years of community consultation as to replace, repair, refurbish or even remove altogether, Dunnville Horticultural Society decided to repurpose the original stone base.
With the assistance of a Community Partnership Program grant from Haldimand County, the new facade reflects the history of the popular downtown fixture, while honouring the commitment of those residents and groups that originally installed and cared for it over the decades.”

DHS Receives $5000 from Haldimand County’s 2019 Mayor’s Gala

Mayor Ken Hewitt presented a generous cheque of $5000 to DHS President Deb Zynomirski and Thompson Creek Chairperson Debbie Thomas at Council Chambers. DHS was one of the recipients from Haldimand County’s Mayor’s Gala Fund Raiser earlier this year.  The money will be used for the Thompson Creek Eco Park Restoration.

Deb brought greetings from DHS, expressed our heartfelt thanks and provided an invitation to the Thompson Creek Grand Opening on Wednesday.

Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada & Haldimand County Celebrate Restoration Of Thompson Creek Park & Wetland

Press Release – In 1993, a group of conservation-minded volunteers from the Dunnville Bio Region Association (DBA) hosted a workshop to create a sustainable development plan—related to social, economic and environmental concerns—for Dunnville. One of the action items proposed was to build an outdoor education facility by restoring Thompson Creek, the Wetland and Tallgrass Prairie and plant a Carolinian Arboretum.

While that goal wasn’t entirely realized at that time due to changing resources and partners, on Wednesday, September 25 the new project partners—Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County—will celebrate the completion of the vision with the opening of an Eco-Centre at Dunnville Thompson Creek Park.

“We are so excited to have been able to help re-start this project and get it done,” says Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Past-President Debbie Thomas, who co-chaired the project with volunteer Dan McKay, the original President of the DBA and now a DHS member. “This was a wonderful project when it was started more than twenty years ago and, although it stalled somewhat due to unforeseen circumstances, we are so happy to have been able to work with the volunteer who had a lot to do with the original vision—Dan McKay—and build on it with our Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County partners.”

The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m., with an official welcome at 11:00 a.m. Volunteer tour guides and guest educators will give visitors an opportunity to explore the Park’s revitalized wetlands and tallgrass prairie, as well as the Carolinian arboretum, and learn about the history and significance of the Park from an ecological and conservation perspective. As well, the Park is now home to a Heritage Tree, estimated to be more than 250 years old and newly-designated by Forests Ontario.

DHS’s request to complete the original vision of the DBA was a project approved through Haldimand County’s Community Partnership Program, including grant funding of 35% from the municipality.

As well, for more than twenty years, the County had partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to manage the parklands. For the new restoration DUC provided resource funding to support wildflower replanting—for the next five years—of the grassland area. This work was initiated in spring 2019 following a controlled burn of the area arranged by DHS.

Other work undertaken by the partners during the past year to help prepare the site for the restoration included the spraying late last year for invasive phragmites, removal of dead and unsafe trees in the arboretum, brushing of overgrown areas, creation of a new naturalized pathway around the wetlands and tallgrass prairie, a controlled burn to rejuvenate the area intended for wildflower replanting and installation of educational signage along the Eco-Centre pathways.

“It has been incredibly gratifying to have the opportunity to work with the Dunnville Horticultural Society and its wonderful volunteers to realize the Dunnville Bio Region Association’s original vision for this Park,” adds Dan McKay. “I am excited by the community’s interest and engagement in the new project, and feel confident this is only the beginning of the ongoing conservation of this ecologically-significant Park.”

Thompson Creek Park Opening Flyer

Controlled Burn Scheduled for April 2019 As Part of Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project

In May 2018, Haldimand County Council awarded an $11,550 community partnership grant to the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) to bring the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project to fruition. Part of this Haldimand County-DHS-Ducks Unlimited Canada partnership project requires that a controlled burn be conducted on the parkland adjacent to Robinson Road. The burn will take place in April 2019 (weather dependent).

The Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project aims to rehabilitate the wetlands and grassland, create naturalized walkable pathways and establish a Carolinian Arboretum Education Centre/outdoor classroom. The purpose of the controlled burn is to clear the grassland site of accumulated debris, halt the growth of invading shrubs and rejuvenate the native tallgrass ecosystem.

Controlled burns are deliberately set, carefully planned and controlled fires that consume ground level fuels like dried leaves, cured grass, needles and fallen/downed woody debris. The practice is a widely-used and recognized scientific method of controlling non-fire tolerant invasive species, allowing for growth and regeneration of naturally-occurring historical grasslands and fire-tolerant tree species.

The controlled burn has been carefully planned in consultation with Haldimand County Emergency Services, with public safety at the forefront. Lands & Forests Consulting has been contracted to oversee the burn with a team of highly-trained, experienced and nationally-certified wildland firefighters. Haldimand County Emergency Services will be on site for the duration of the burn, with Dunnville Station 9 on standby with equipment to assist if firefighting efforts are required.

The exact date of the controlled burn has not been confirmed, as weather and wind conditions will dictate the best time. Haldimand County will post updates regarding the timing of the burn via HaldimandCounty.ca and its social media channels.

Every effort will be made to make sure impacts from the controlled burn are minimized, however, if conditions change during the burn, neighbouring residences, schools and businesses may be affected. To prevent exterior smoke from entering your home, or in the event of exterior smoke entering your home or facility, please:

  • Refrain from outside activities like yard work and do not let your children play outside;
  • Check the Air Quality Index for your area (available on all weather-related websites, such as
    Environment Canada). If there is a high risk in your area, it is best to stay indoors;
  • Make sure you stay inside if local authorities advise those in your area to do so;
  • Close your windows and fireplace dampers to keep out the smoke; and,
  • Turn off air conditioners and HVAC systems.

More information about the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project will be released once preliminary work on the site has been completed. Residents with questions or concerns about the controlled burn are encouraged to consult the Q&A document. All updates regarding the burn will be posted on the Haldimand County website and social media channels.

DHS March Update

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

Calling all Leprechauns! It is almost time to get your green on! If we can’t quite see green in our lawns and gardens, then our green sweaters, hats and gloves will have to suffice. We have made it through the coldest months with those short daylight hours and now we can look forward to milder temperatures and the reawakening of spring.

Our Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) had a wonderful program night on February 21, welcoming Dr. Janice Gilbert who shared much on getting rid of those invasive phragmites. Fifty-two people signed in to share in a great evening. Tina Janssen donated three bunches of Siberian irises, won by Betty Balanger, Rose Marie Bosak, and Tony Daly.


Dan Mckay, DHS lead on the Thompson Creek Project & Janice Gilbert, of IPCC Invasive Phragmites Control

Next month is our Early Bird Draw for members who buy their 2019 membership on or before March 21, so make sure to come early to do so. At just $10 ($15 for a couple), it is great value. Our guests that evening will be Troy and Kelly Bowers of Moodie Bees, and Natalie Hahn speaking “All About the Bees”. This important topic is sure to be of interest to many.

At DHS we are gearing up for a busy spring of planting, weeding, and tending our town flowerbeds. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Join us and see what our club is all about. You are sure to make new friends and learn something great … not to mention enjoy some excellent refreshments.

So, come on out to our next Program Night! The DHS meets every third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m., or visit us online at our Facebook page or website


For questions or comments, contact myself at 416-566-9337 or at debzyn@gmail.com.

            Deb Zynomirski is the president of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

DHS 2018 Year in Review

All I can say is “Well Done Everyone!! Together another banner year.”

-Our membership is at 234

-With 21 Jr Gardeners and a successful partnership with Hald 4H

-DHS is proud to recognize 5 new life members this year with a total of 10

-Our monthly programs continue to draw no less than 69 in attendance, some programs double that- proving they are relevant, enjoyable and something worthwhile to continue

-We have continued to grow partnerships within the community through our projects and activities; Dunnville High school student volunteers..giving out our first bursary this year

-We had the assistance of the Scouts & Cubs, Community Living and Dunnville Christian School weeding beds this year along with our dedicated members

-We partnered with Heritage Haldimand to designate the large Norway Maple as a Heritage tree in the New Waterfront park  and installed a permanent marker.

-Businesses, Community groups and residents believe in us, as seen in our strong financial position and community engagement

-Enabling us to add a new bench in Wingfield Park, 2 new nautical art enhancements, the restoration of the anchor and bed including a new historical plaque, concrete edging and new plantings around the new Dunnville sign

– Not to mention keeping up with our regular activities and projects

-And of course the yet to be completed Thompson Creek Eco Park Restoration

-We continue to think of ways to be environmentally responsible by planting more perennials, grasses, trees and shrubs each year reducing the need for excessive watering and keeping our costs down

-We look for ways each year to try and reduce our volunteers time and labour – by using thick mulches where we can, by eliminating annuals in some beds and by ensuring the annuals planted are of the type and done in a way that will spread choking out weeds

-DHS undertakes the care of all 24 beds and planters, along with 32 pots throughout the town of Dunnville. It’s unheard of for single Hort Society to take on so much each year.


Closing remarks

The Lifeblood of any organization is in its membership. Without you, DHS couldn’t take on or complete the many beautification projects. Your continued participation  keeps our programs meaningful and sustainable. You ensure the future of DHS.

On behalf of your 2018 DHS Board “ Thank you” we are so grateful for your ongoing support and confidence.

If you our members are the Lifeblood, your DHS  Board is certainly the Heart and Soul of this organization. This group of committed individuals gives so much of themselves. Putting in countless hours of time and labour, even pulling in their unwitting families to assist on large scale projects needing a boost in manpower. I am so grateful and happy to report that no one has jumped ship. All are returning for 2019 under the sound  and charismatic leadership of Deb Zynomirski.

-by Debbie Thomas, outgoing DHS Pres.