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The first flag to fly on Haldimand County’s new pole for community groups actually represents two organizations: the Dunnville Horticultural Society and the Haldimand Horticultural Society.

The flag is in recognition of 2022 being the Year of the Garden.

Sharon Slack, a member of the Haldimand group, said the Year of the Garden is being celebrated throughout all of Canada.

“They’re asking every gardener to plant red flowers,” she said, adding that many groups, including both of the ones in Haldimand, are having special initiatives and activities this year in celebration.

“Gardening brings everyone together,” she said.

Debbie Thomas with the Dunnville group noted that the COVID-19 pandemic meant a lot of community groups —

The Dunnville group meets on the third Thursday of the month in the Optimist Club of Dunnville building at 7 p.m., while the Haldimand group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at St. Paul’s Anglican hall in Caledonia at 7:30 p.m.

Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt said, “The county is pleased to see the first community flag raised and looks forward to recognizing more local groups/organizations doing important work through this new initiative.”

Charitable and non-profit groups are asked to submit a request at least four weeks in advance of the date requested for their flags to be flown. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The flags cannot be of a political, commercial or religious nature, and cannot promote hatred, violence, racism or discrimination.

For more information or to find the online flag application form, visit the county’s website.

including horticultural societies — have had to curb their in-person meetings and activities for the majority of the past two years.

Having it be the Year of the Garden and having a flag celebrating that at the Haldimand County Administration Building in Cayuga “is a way to kick off and get us going again,” Thomas said.

She encouraged everyone who isn’t already to become a member of their local horticultural society and “be a part of beautifying your community.”

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