Council votes down new adopt-a-garden program
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Dec 20, 2007  |  Vote 0    0

Council votes down new adopt-a-garden program

Stratford Gazette

Stratford has decided there is no need for an adopt-a-garden program in the city.

At Monday afternoon's meeting, while sitting as the community services committee, city council voted to file the adopt-a-garden concept with the majority of councillors agreeing existing programs already offer the community a chance to sponsor flowerbeds in the city.

The decision came after the parks board made it clear they did not support commercialization of the parks system by placing signs to recognize corporate sponsors.

Currently the city is responsible for the majority of flowerbeds in Stratford, only receiving help from the Horticultural Society to maintaining beds.

Coun. Paul Nickel, chair of the community services committee, said the city already has a program in place which allows citizens and companies to donate money toward trees, park benches and flowerbeds.

"We have a program where any business wishes to come forward and donate money," said Nickel. "We're not going to advertise and we're not going to commercialize the parks."

However, Coun. Bonnie Henderson said she was not aware of programs in place to sponsor flowerbeds. She said the initiative could save the city $65,000 to $75,000, money which is needed with the city facing a tight 2008 budget.

"If we did this, it would stop people in the community from saying if we weren't spending so much on flowers, we could do this and we could do that," said Henderson, suggesting sponsors be recognized on the city's website or in the city's proposed new magazine.

Coun. Dave Hunt asked whether sponsored bed signs could be placed in areas outside the parks system, such as the garden in Churchill Circle. He asked what type of recognition is received by companies which sponsor flowers and trees.

Community services director Dan Martin said most sponsors have allowed city flowerbeds to be planted on their land. Coun. Don Chapman and Henderson were the only councillors to vote against the motion that the program be filed, with Coun. Keith Culliton absent.

Mayor Dan Mathieson made a subsequent, successful motion that staff be directed to examine the advertising, promotion and recognition in place for the existing program.

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