By Cassandra Fleet
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Haldimand is home to not one, but two horticulture societies, both of which have a mission to beautify our local towns.
The Dunnville Horticulture Society was established in 1929 with only a plan to plant trees within Central Park. Now 90 years in, they have grown significantly and spearheaded many projects, including creating flowerbeds throughout Dunnville.
“As time has gone on, the club has become less formal and more of a gardening club,” said President Deb Zynomirski. She explained that when the club was founded, they focussed on more of a scientific approach. Zynomirski continued, “The club is now meant to appeal to the average person who just enjoys gardening.”
The society has just completed rehabilitating Centennial Park, where residents and tourists often stop to see the iconic Muddy The Mudcat. Included in the rehabilitation was rebuilding the historical aspect of the fountain, planting flowers, and repaving the pathways. This has led them to rebooting the Thompson Creek Eco Centre Project. In the coming season, the society will be restoring the 45-acre site for an educational purpose. They also will be working to fully repurpose the floral clock and add a story board including local historical sites.
“We could not continue doing what we do without our Board of Directors and volunteers. We have about 200 members currently who devote so much time to our projects, planting and maintaining our gardens,” said Zynomirski.
The Haldimand Horticulture Society, which meets in Caledonia, is still a sapling in comparison, having been established in 1984. At that time, they were planting various gardens throughout Haldimand and maintained them with pesticides and weed killers.
“The biggest change over the years is that people actually care about what they’re eating or bringing into their home,” said President Sharon Slack. “Weed killers are banned now, but we no longer use the pesticides to ensure safe ingestion because that is what people want now.”
This year, the society will be focussing on planting trees for the “future of our world” throughout the River Walk and Riverside Park, as well as maintaining their gardens at the West Haldimand General Hospital, the dam, Centennial Hall, and more.
“Our members and volunteers spend over 1,500 hours each season maintaining all of our flowerbeds. We couldn’t do any of it without them,” said Slack.
Both Dunnville and Haldimand are eagerly welcoming new members to join them to continue bringing out the beauty of our towns. For more information on the clubs, their events, or upcoming meeting dates you can visit Dunnville at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or Haldimand at haldimand.gardenontario.org.